Say you’re writing a story that is, in part, about your life. Because you are a Clause, you have an intense sense of family, so it is about your family as well. And it’s just so amazing that your favorite second sister is here to stay so you can discuss all the family particulars with her.
But, oops, in a moment of weakness, you told her she could read the draft. You even told her the title (which, in all fairness, your husband came up with). You thought you were far enough along (draft 15, baby!) that you could take whatever comments she had.
You have cold feet almost immediately. Conventional wisdom says keep your writing close to your chest (and the chests of your beta readers) before you publish. Past experience says that you never know how other people’s comments will affect you. You remember comments from your ex about how she was so pleased to read the poem about her, when it was not about her at all.
Actually this ex has taught you a lot about how to deal with other people’s interpretations of yourself. You stayed friends after you broke up, which was not a good idea, as you mooned after her for years. You let her tell you anything, even when it hurt. For many years you had no boundaries when it came to this person. Fortunately you have wised up by now.
Your favorite second sister has no ill intentions in the world. But the place of creation and the drive to continue is unbearably delicate. It’s like the moss in the desert that takes 30 years to grow and a minute to destroy with your footsteps. You don’t mean to step on it, you maybe didn’t even know it was there.
What do you share? How and when?