|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?
If they were written a long time ago, your perspective on your own writing has probably changed. Re-read them to see if the ideas they were based on still seem to have merit. If so, examine the way in which you developed the ideas involved. You may find that the basic ideas no longer seem worthwhile, or you may find the ideas worthwhile but the execution flawed. Pick those which still seem worthwhile and show them to someone whose objectivity you trust. They may have suggestions for a different approach to the development of the ideas involved. You will probably find that the more time that has passed since you wrote something, the less emotional investment you have in its quality. That makes you more objective and more amenable to considering the input of another.
I don't toss anything. I have a folder on my computer called "ideas" and another physical folder on my bookshelf marked "write a story about this." Some pieces of paper and some full pages of ramblings have inspired full stories. I believe there should not be a waste basket or a shredder for writing -- there's a story in there someplace you just have to find it. I've reworked lots of old stories but never tossed one.
Show them off! What a great way to express who you really are!
If you have things that you have worked on for years but never had the courage to bring to light, you should be strong and confident. Show your work and be proud of your ability.
Look at them yourself first and see if there is a good reason you didn't show anyone.
Believe in yourself and show your worth to your friends/readers.
Go straight to the shredder. You are not the same person today as you were years ago and, hopefully, your writing has matured and evolved. If you don't have enough confidence to show your work to others, then keep it to yourself. Just don't cling to it like it is a memorial to your youth.
First, go back and read them yourself. If you like them, by all means, show them to anyone who will read them. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Show them. Show them to anyone and everyone who agrees to read them, and digest their impressions, good or bad. A thick skin is a must-have for any writer that hopes to make a successful go of writing, and we all at some point, must acclimate to receiving negative impressions as well as positive ones.
I put those scripts in a cardboard box and store them against the highly unlikely possibility that I'll ever look at them again.
I just found some stories I had written many, many years ago. I haven't read them yet but when I have time and inclination I will sit down and see how they compare with what I had intended when I committed the stories to paper.
Are they worth keeping? If they are, are they worth it for memories of my former inarticulate self or do they have promise?
Answer the questions honestly and you have the decision now of deciding to show or not.
Pick the one you think of the most and edit it. Put it aside for a week then read it with a pencil in hand to mark out anything that doesn't need to be in it. Correct it and send it to a publisher. Then start on the next one. Be systematic keep track of your results. When you have sent out all your manuscripts write a new one and start over. If this helps you get published you may send me a thank you note through bouchergallery.com.
Look at them in today's light. If they still have meaning to you, show them to whomever you think would or should see them.
Well, if you were like me, you don't have those anymore. You re-read them and were so disgusted with them your threw them in the trash years ago. But if you still have them, DON'T EVER GET RID OF THEM. Even if you never show them to anyone else, those were your thoughts and feelings and emotions and stories and songs and passion....from your past. They can re-kindle your creativity and passion and inspire you to write better and more honestly. And by all means, SHOW them to someone, ANYONE. They may have been written with the intent to never see the eye of another, but you could just have the very thing to make you the next Kipling or Cummings, Heinlein or Hemingway and you'll never know unless you share them.
Whatever you want to do. Writing is a personal thing and people need to do what they're comfortable with. If you're comfortable submitting then do it. If you can't take the heat - or risk of rejection then don't. There's no guarantees in this business and you have to be thick-skinned, not get hurt or defeated because someone doesn't like what you've written.
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