Sharing work is so scary.
I wonder if it applies to all art?
Apart from writing, the only other creative field I've really committed time to is music. I play a few instruments, and part of that is the occasional public performance; a school concert, jamming with friends, playing in church. Even if I'm good, and I've rehearsed, and know what's going to happen, I get nervous. I want it to be a certain way, to have a certain feel, and the pressure is on.
Still, if I'm following music, it's right, or it's wrong - and I always have that to fall back on. It sounds good, and people recognise that.
Writing's different, somehow. It's too - what's the word? - subjective? I can write something good, something great, and certain people will still think it's only OK, or downright bad. There's no shield. If you don't like Bach, that's up to you, but I got all the notes right, so it's him, not me, you have a beef with.
All the notes in a story I wrote are ones I made up, and the tune's a me-original. If people don't like it - well, ouch.
So, it's scary, sharing work. Isn't it?
Putting things out - online, in books, even handing them to friends - can be an odd mixture of extreme arrogance (Here! I made a world which I now demand you relate to!) and bizarre raw-openness (Please be nice. This is my heart).
A thick skin or complete detachment - how else do you cope?
Sharing work can be brilliant. Having people read and relate to and love a story you told - it's why we write, in a way. Yes, we write for ourselves, but the desire to have others connect with the story and say 'Yes, I see what you did there. Gosh, how clever' never goes away.
So, sharing work. It's awkward, sometimes, and sometimes it goes badly, and sometimes it goes really, really well.
I still keep getting better, I hope, at letting things go, and letting others in.
Just keep swimming. Just keep sharing.