I've been getting ready to workshop my feature comedy this Friday, and it got me thinking about that old adage about writers feeling precious about their work. Nobody likes to get told their work isn't up to scratch, but as long as the comments are constructive, I generally don't feel the burn when anyone says anything faintly negative. However.... as I was off swanning round the EIFF in June, I fell behind with my writing schedule (pleased to have done so though as it was well worth it), which has meant that what little I have for Friday is now not really ready to meet the world. SO, what to do?
I've gone the brave (for me) route which is to send it out there in all its messed-up, scatty, brainstormery 'glory' so I can take advantage of some early feedback, but geez it's painful. I HATE putting things out there until I'm at least a little happy with it, and have had time to live with it, but this time... eeeeeeeeeeeeek, gone and done it. What if the sky falls down!
What if it gets thrashed in the workshop and then I lose all confidence in it? - I'm wavering on that line anyway, as I always am before I get into the guts of a thing.
Thing is, I don't even know if I like it yet, it's too new, like a pair of shoes not yet walked in.
But it will be an interesting experience to see how or if it affects me. I generally enjoy reading people's brainstorms, or automatic writing as it gives you a real sense of energy, especially when you just know they've hooked into something inspiring regardless of spelling or grammar or convention. Some people hate it though - they need a traditional format to clarify what they're reading. If it's a commission, assignment or professional job then of course, don't be sending out your unformatted scribblings unless specifically asked for (does anyone ever ask for unformatted scribblings I wonder), but in other contexts, do you ever let your part-formed youngsters out to gamble about in the world or do you always wait until you've worked them into more conventional form and taken off their training wheels?