Lately I’ve had several people tell me they’ve written something – a novel manuscript, a children’s story, an autobiography. Before this, I hadn’t known these people were writers. I am thrilled for them!
It’s great to meet another writer – at any stage of his or her writing life. But the thrilling part is they’re starting to tell others about their writing. It means they really believe in what they’re doing.
That makes me happy. I was especially honored when these people asked me to read what they’ve written. It’s an honor because it means they trust me.
I remember how scary it was for me to let someone read my stuff years ago. It takes a great amount of courage to let someone see your inner thoughts (which always come out in our writing whether we know it or not). It also takes a lot of humility: being willing to let someone else help you.
Being willing to receive… Well, that’s an art form and in the writing community it’s vital. But it’s a lot easier here. Writers are mostly collaborative and not competitive; feedback and critique are highly valued.
I have a dear friend whose favorite saying is, “Iron sharpens iron.” It’s from Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
It means we need each other. We need each other’s unique personalities, talents, gifts and even weaknesses to sharpen us. It means we should be willing to be sharpened.
So now that you’ve written something let someone read it – someone whose opinion you trust, someone with writing or reading expertise. It’s the only way to what is really inside your work, that message the Lord put in it and how He will use it.
Pretty soon, your sword will gleam and be ready to sharpen someone else’s.
(ACFW.com has great online critique groups, or start your own group with writers you know)