One thing that I never understood about the writing process until I began writing my book is how personal the project is to the writer. How invasive it feels when someone reads even a small excerpt before you’re ready.
I heard about writers like Stephenie Meyer who had intended to write the first installment of her Twilight series over in the perspective of the male protagonist. Being a fan of her work I was highly anticipating it’s release. Then I learned that somehow her manuscript was leaked before she was ready and I read her post on her website where she claimed to have felt violated and therefore could not currently foresee finishing the project at this time.
It was a blow to me, I didn’t quite understand her position at the time. I thought the excerpt that she put on the website after it leaked was fantastic, nothing for her to worry about critically. But then I started working on my own project.
It is incredibly personal, and you feel so protective of your thoughts. In a world where people share criticism so freely through social media, as a writer you feel like a mama bear guarding your young cubs. You don’t want anyone near it. You may not even want to let anyone know that you’re working on it. Not until it’s ready, or you’re ready.
I had an argument once with someone who read a small bit over my shoulder (Not mentioning his name, though he almost slept on the couch for it). Writers’ (yes I am calling myself a writer) are very sensitive souls and it can feel like you are being violated, voyeuristic almost. Ok maybe that’s taking it a bit far. But I am very protective of my work, especially when it is in its first rough draft format because it will not reflect my very best. Many times I will hurry and jot down my thoughts before I forget them, and worry about the flourish later. I also don’t want to be deterred by criticism before I’m ready for it.
So I stand up for the overly sensitive literary composer! Keep protecting your work fiercely! As will I!
I checked out this webpage http://www.hsperson.com/index.html for information about being a highly sensitive person. Being a creative person often goes hand in hand with being highly sensitive. I will also be borrowing the book Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron – which from reading the reviews, I can discern that she offers a more clear understanding to the plight of the overly sensitive person, it is not a defect in character! In fact it can be a blessing.