It’s terrifying, isn’t it. You have this fantastic idea for a book that you’ve been thinking about for months or even years, but you don’t feel confident enough to share it. What if you tell someone and they shoot your idea down, or say that you’re not really the “type” to write a book, or even worse, laugh at you.
Trust me – I know how this feels. Halfway through writing my first novel, I stopped. Why? I had no idea if I could write fiction. I knew I could write non-fiction as I had been published several times before, but who’s to say I had the skills to write a novel? Frankly, who did I think I was?
At that point I hadn’t told a single person that I was trying my hand at fiction. I believed if I told them about it or shared what the book was about, one careless comment would damage my confidence, and I would abandon the project altogether. Eventually, figuring a professional opinion was easier to accept than a personal one, I mustered up the courage to send the work I had done to a top literary agent, and then spent weeks nervously waiting for her reply.
When the agent told me she enjoyed what I had written and complimented my writing, I have never felt such relief. The validation alone motivated me to complete the novel and all I can say is watch this space.
The point is that it is scary to share our book ideas with others, even close friends and family. Regardless of whether our books are fiction or non-fiction, those ideas are a part of us, and that makes us feel vulnerable. However, taking the risk and seeking feedback from writing professionals can be worth the risk. After all, sometimes validation is all we need to propel us towards completing the book we want to write.