How do you know when something you’ve written is ready for someone else to read?
It’s a decision we make all the time, in different little ways, often without ever putting much thought into it.
When is that text ready to send? When is that Facebook status ready to post? When is that emailed group lunch invite ready for distribution?
Most of the time, those things don’t get much serious consideration.
Professionally, the stakes sometimes get raised. The boss asks you to put together a PowerPoint deck for your team meeting. Another department needs a report on your work. You’re writing an article for an intranet or a journal.
These tasks are usually time-bound and the answer of when to share them is generally based around a deadline – assuming you plan on keeping your job.
But what about the first story you write as a hopeful author?
When it’s for kids and is only 500 words long but you’ve redrafted it a dozen times over a six month period. When it contains some bits you’re happy with but lots more you’re much less certain about. Should you let go? Are you the best person to judge? And if not, who is?
Can you seriously imagine handing your single little side of typed A4 to someone else to review, as if saying, “There you go, that’s the absolute best I can do it.”
I mean, is it? Really?
In these days of straightforward self-publishing and electronic books, everyone can be a published author and I mean everyone. It’s not hard.
Whilst some brilliant, inspiring, original work has reached the world this way, there is an utter deluge of total crap available on Amazon Kindle and Lord knows no one wants their writing to be judged that way.
Which begs the question, who did they get to read their work first?
RESEARCH QUESTION: When should you let someone read your work and who should they be?