Just remember that writing is about communication: wouldn’t our lives be poorer if Emily Brontë had kept Wuthering Heights hidden in her desk drawer? Take another look at your work and then give it to a trusted friend—preferably another writer, someone who will be honest and constructive. The feedback of an astute reader is essential to helping you determine what works and what doesn’t. If left to my own devices, I will alternate between loving my work and thinking it’s absolutely wretched; to put an end to that ugly back-and-forth, I show the manuscript to someone. If you’re going to take your work seriously, you owe yourself a reality check—and, if you’re lucky, your friend can point you toward just the things you need to make your work sing.