I’ve only let a few people view the first half of my current work in progress, my novella, The Red Bridge. And of those few people, 100% of them are people who personally know me. It wasn’t until last year that I ventured out and let strangers look at my work.
Last November I posted the first chapter of The Red Bridge on a writing critique site. Unfortunately, I chose the worst possible time to do this as those who regularly offer critiques were in the middle of NaNoWriMo. Because of my impeccable timing I received only two responses, but that was two more than I would have had if I had never taken that step.
As anxious as I was to read what strangers would say about my work, I was also fearful about how my work would be received. But that fear turned to joy after I received the two critiques because . . . they actually liked it.
Sure, they had several areas of suggested improvements, but (because I am my own worst critic) their compliments about my work took me by surprise.
Here are the two compliments I received:
“The language here is full and robust and a pleasure to read.”
“You do have a flow to your words and a descriptive prose that makes what you have written a pleasure to read.”
I was truly humbled and honored that two individuals who I do not know described my labor of love in such a manner. And even more importantly, their words provided me with encouragement to continue in the world’s loneliest craft.