|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?
Keep them hidden and write something for right now.
My suggestion would be to create a blog for yourself and start putting those writings out into the world. Create an imaginary name and profile for yourself if that feels safe. This could be just the key you need to open the door.
Look at them again to see how they appear after all this time and think if it is worthy to do something with them
Drag them out, edit them, and then publish them on a blog.
"You must do the thing which you think you cannot do"-Eleanor Roosevelt
Revisit them every once in a while. Celebrate the fact that some things about them embarrass you now. There's probably no clearer proof that you are improving as a writer. If you have them in a computer file save a copy with a new name and play with it for an hour. Bring your new skill to the task and see what you can do.
If you don't have them in a computer file, retype one or two when you're going through a dry spell. The editing part of my brain always kicks in when I'm retyping something, and often as I fix up a sentence here or there, the creative side of my brain also kicks in. Some of those old dusty manuscripts are true treasures. Often they have great weaknesses, but a passion that's sometimes lost in more polished writing. It's a lot easier to take something that has passion and improve the writing than it is to inject passion into something that is technically good, but stale and lifeless.
If you can't show them to anyone, keep or burn them. Or, use them for toilet paper.
i recommend showing family and friends first and see what they think. they give you a lot of advice and are very supportive. and if youre too shy to put your name to the book, create a pen name. people wont know its you that wrote it, but you can still be proud if you see it on the shelves in a book store.
Get together with others like you and read them outloud.
Show them to the people you are really close to, like relatives or best friends. Chances are that what you wrote is not as bad as you think!
See if any of it is worth reworking. With your improved writing abilities you may be able to turn a dimond-in-the-rough into a polished masterwork.
Join a writing critique group. If your stuff is good, they can help you make it better and maybe give you some advice on getting published. If it isn't so good, they can give you advice on making it better. If you're shy about facing people, you can do a web search and find an online group where you don't have to meet the people face to face until you're ready, or ever.
Keep them to yourself. Some times some writings are best not known.
Read them. Then read them again. If you like them, then make whatever changes you feel necessary and share them.
I am not bashful about showing people my writing projects. My Western novel has received a lot of praise as has my film story idea of my relationship with Tanisha. I hope I can gain the attention of book and movie folks.
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