During the 18 months I have been studying Creative Writing, I have come across a number of people who claim that they write only for themselves. Whether it is poetry, short stories or a diary (I have to confess I have NEVER kept a diary), I don’t really understand this. Why write if no-one is going to read it? It’s like painting a picture and then leaving it in the attic unadmired, with the colour fading over the years.
I know it’s embarrasing to show someone your work the first time – especially poetry which is so much more personal – but it’s worth taking the plunge. (When it comes to poetry it’s much better to read it to them – even scarier I know, but it ensures that the rhythm is correct.) You never know, you may get comments like ‘That’s brilliant’ or ‘I wish I could write like that’. Or they may say ‘That’s cobblers’, but I bet they won’t, unless they are very rude. Most people are impressed that you had a go. They may even reveal that they write as well. Then you can support each other. It may turn out that they have already been published and give you loads of really excellent advice.
And if anyone says ‘Poetry is a load of old rubbish for people who read the Guardian’ well that says more about them than you, doesn’t it.
So if you now feel brave enough to share your work with the rest of us, go visit www.writers-forum.co.uk. You can apply to write for the site and see your work in (virtual) print.