The Shelving Debate

A few weeks ago, I excitedly plotted and started a sort of sequel to a story I wrote throughout 2020 and 2021. I took it down five days later and I haven’t recovered since.

I think as a writer I am deeply insecure. I also think this is a busy time of year and in general, it’s been a heck of a last couple of years. I lost most of my writing groups, plenty of people I would usually go to for feedback have either disappeared from the online sphere or just have too much on their plate, and it’s become increasingly hard to find anything similar. I’ve been in a feedback bubble and that is a place that alarms me when I think about the years I wrote entirely by myself with no expectation that anyone would ever read it.

That’s not true anymore. I write things I like, sure. I wouldn’t create something I didn’t care about but there’s a part of my brain that feels it isn’t just for me anymore. I have an audience. A small one, but an audience and when I felt like they weren’t taking to something I was excited about, I didn’t know what to do. See, on the one hand I could give it more time. I can wait for my work to find it’s own people, but when this one in particular relies on past readers and none of them seemed charmed…well…you can get my uncertainty. Not having a handy dandy second pair of eyes really threw me for a loop. In other years, other moments when I had these burning questions about my work, I could turn to a group of other online creators and I could workshop. What does one do when they don’t have that anymore? How do I know when the shelve something or just give it more time?

I feel like I’ll be spinning back to this point often until I figure something out.

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