This is the thought I had when I started showing my manuscript to my beta readers. I am very happy to have people willing to read and critique my work, and I was excited to reach an important milestone in the completion of my book. That said, no one tells you that as exciting as it is to be able to say your manuscript is ready to be read, it’s actually very hard to turn it over to people who know you in other contexts.
As I attached and sent it out to my readers, I felt more than a twinge of awkwardness. While most fiction writers’ work is not strictly autobiographical (that wouldn’t give any of us enough to write about), much of it is the result of dredging the subconscious, over and over and over again, then committing the dredgings to paper, reworking them and shaping them into a narrative.
All this time spent rooting around in the subconscious is in sharp contrast to daily life as a socially acceptable human, in which the subconscious is kept out of sight, where it belongs (but also working away in the background).
So, it stands to reason that the people one knows from daily life, even if they’re good friends, don’t really see that side of you, or if they do, they don’t see it very often. They might not even know that facet exists, then suddenly, they have hold of about 300 pages of it. It’s a strange feeling.
So far no one has come to me, scratching their head to ask “how on earth did you get your ideas?” But it could happen.
This wound up being a short post – once I came up with the title, there wasn’t much else to say.