So I did what I always tell myself I'm not going to do. I showed what I have, so far, of Raise Hell to a few friends. I keep telling myself that I'm not going to let someone see a short piece of what I'm working on until it's done. That I'll even hide it away until after I finish a few drafts, so that way it'll be better. And I'll have a little more creative distance from it.
I used to be very defensive about feedback on things that I've written.
What I noticed yesterday is that, with the people I showed it to, at least, I wasn't.
One simply said she liked it and that she thought it made sense. Which is good. The other person I showed it to provided a little more feedback. A thing that didn't make sense. A section that he thought was a bit wasteful.
And I accepted his feedback. I didn't push back. I tried to explain myself for a moment, and then realized that it can't come from an explanation. It all needs to be in the script. So I let it go.
I think all these years of putting every little thing I write out into the public eye is starting to have a positive effect on me. I'm somewhere into my fourth year of keeping this blog, I believe.
I think if you're an artist, you'd do well to put your work in front of some people. Feel the sting when someone says a critical word about it. Then, eventually, realize that this won't be your only project. That the one criticizing, if they're the right kind of person, isn't criticizing you. They might even be trying to help.
Art that isn't shared is still art. It doesn't have to be for people. It doesn't have to be shown to other people.
But it's a good way to know where you need to get better.