|What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY!
I'm still recycling things I wrote years ago. A good idea is a good idea; it's timeless. If you wrote something and it didn't work, put it away for a time and then revisit it with fresh eyes. Be prepared - as the great William Goldman says - to 'Kill your babies'. Rip out anything that doesn't take the book forward. It may tear at our heart-strings to excise a good line or a superb character ... but they can be used elsewhere. And probably in a more appropriate way.
As an example, I wrote a novel around 12 years ago. I sent it off to a couple of publishers. No one was interested. So I put it away. Then, a few weeks ago, I took it out and read it. And, suddenly, I could see all of the faults. I was too close to it 12 years ago. Plus, I've since had a great idea to tweak and improve the plot. So now I'm re-writing it and will be chucking it to my agent in October.
Nothing is ever wasted.
Go through them, don't throw any out and see if there's anything worth reviving.
Keep your old copy for sentimental reasons and to have a clean copy of your original. Then rewrite them all based on who you are now and things you have learned.
Re-read them. Decide if you still like them. I mean, there might be something there worth examining......but, you should probably just throw it out. There's probably a reason you didn't want to show anyone.
I don't know. I think some people are just lucky to get recognized for their talent. I wish I was friends with Oprah(smile)
Get them out, dust them off and look at them. Would you read them if they were written by someone else? Have a play with them. Get your best friend to have a nosey.
Words are fun - play with them and see where it takes you.
Hide them in a dark closet (joking). Pick a person you really like, trust, or know very well and tell them about your ideas. See what they say and then let them read it. You might be surprised where you can go from there.
Please, go back and read over them. You will enjoy this as well as remember perhaps why you wrote them, what you felt at the time and perhaps you will see that you need to share them with others who would also enjoy your work.
Keep them put away. When you know your writing is good--after you get published--bring them out and see how they read to you now.
Don't throw them out! Go back and read them and you'll see how much your style has changed. You'll also see what needs to be changed in them to make them marketable or commercial.
Yes, there are some things I've written in the past that will never go anywhere, but each taught me a lesson. And there are some things you HAVE to write before you are free to write for other people's eyes.
Read them over again, and if it's something you like reading, show it to a friend and get them to read it. And, if they like it, perhaps you should try to get the writing out there in some way.
Blog it. Get it out there and own it.
See if they need editing and let people read it! It wouldnt hurt anything! It's excellent to know what people think. Critizism may sting, but it will help you out at the end when your writing is at its best! Dont fret about it!
I say if you enjoy what you love jump at the chance and go do it! Writing is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a great thing, its a dream of yours. If you think that the stories you wrote years ago are a little rough dust it off and read it over and see if you can fix it up. but Dreams should never die, dream big cuz it all begins with a dream...
Confidence is the key to success. Nobody is going to find you online and ask what you do or whether you write, so I would suggest taking your work to friends who you trust and asking for their honest opinion. Once you have that and have reproduced your work taking their thoughts on board, show it to someone professional - there is always someone available online willing to take a look at your work, particularly on networking sites such as Twitter.
Be brave and give your work a chance. You are the only one who can make something happen from it.
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