|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 you died tomorrow, would you like your estate to publish them? Often, those early works show a writing evolution, a development of style and sometimes the germ of an idea that you can reuse and recast in a different more experienced light. In fact, I am dusting off an old fictional effort that I got 100 pages into, put down and realize that I now know exactly where I was intending to go with it
I have two hard drives, both in a safe deposit box, each filled with my digital life's work and interests. Printed works have been stored but not before they were all scanned and digitized. My heirs are going to have a blast!
If you aspire to be a writer, you might want to begin by writing on the Internet. You can blog or write as an editor, as I have been doing for a number of years.
Then wait and see if you get anyone's attention and feedback. This will give you an idea as to whether you should or shouldn't leave your day job for a writing career.
Keep them and compare them to what you are doing now. Treasure your progress. Nobody need see anything if you are embarrassed to show them. If you are embarrassed, don't show anybody. If you are proud of it, show it to everyone you trust.
Read them, show them to a person/people you trust and be open to feedback. You can even publish them or put them in a scrapbook. But make sure you read them and share them.
If you're happy with them, shop them around. No one can read them under your bed...
Show people - take the positives in how you've developed.
Pull them out. See if you find anything in them you like. Rewrite if need be.
Show them to strangers, maybe on an online critique group. Send them out.
If you're too horrified by them, write something new!
Interesting question. I am helping a terrifically talented woman get her first fledgling scripts on an actual screenwriting software and getting her to think of herself as a professional. In her first efforts she showed them to no one or to people who might have been the wrong choice to read them. I looked at the first script and suggested some changes to bring it up to standards and to highlight her strengths. When she finishes the draft I want her to get the scripts to the right people. I am positive she has tremendous potential and is very, very funny, and exceptional with dialogue. On top of it she's a mother of two. I felt compelled to get her work out there. I am passing along what another dear friend did for me who got me out of my doldrums, depression and feelings of rejection -- she got me to get out three of my original scripts and get them back in the hands of people who really knew what they were doing. I now believe I have a story to tell. Most writers are injured and dysfunctional because of someone who clipped their wings, when all along there was something precious and wonderful about to blossom. I recommend Julia Cameron's Artist's Way as a 12-step book for recovery.
Reread them, they may be good. But remember, once you publish it on the internet, it's there forever.
I would suggest to read them again with older and wiser eyes. If these projects remain hidden, you will never know their potential impact. My advice would be to share them.
Fortunately, I saved most of my term papers from college. Our earliest writing can provide a benchmark of sorts. Actually, a few of my college research papers are still in my current portfolio.
Start showing them to people. Friends. Co-workers. Strangers on the street.
Put them up on blog and invite all comers to read them.
Write some more new stories.
Rework the old stories.
Keep showing up at the page.
No matter what anyone says or where you think you might go or how you think you might get there.
Just keep showing up.
Day after day after day.
Write for you and no one else.
Show a trusting friend or family member your work first, that is if you know they won't be overly critical. Then join a forum for writers or website where you can find a safe community of writers to share work.
I also recommend Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" program or book.
Bring them out, everyone has a voice and it needs to be heard. Information about your familys life, everything write it down. Publish it yourself but get it in book form. The history of the world has not been truthful and we need every voice to come out and speak so the truth of lives are shown. Everybody has a story and it needs to be heard, it needs to be printed. Sorry about the soap box but I would like everyone to have their voice out there.
Bloggs, publishing online or on print, or even getting your self a column in a newspaper or a magazine would do...
Show them to someone -- a friend or family member, or, better yet, take a writing class and use them in the class. It's a great way to get your writing before other people and it's a relatively safe place to do so.
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