Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things - thoughts, ideas, opinions." - Paulo Coelho\r\nAll writers are in some part afraid or reluctant to share their writing with others, be it friends, family, colleagues, or strangers. However, writing is meant to be read. It's meant to be performed, heard and\u00a0experienced. So don't keep it to yourself. This article is all about\u00a0putting your writing out there and how it will help you learn and grow as a writer. Here are five reasons why you should share your writing...\r\n\r\nDean gives us 5 reasons why we should share our writing... Image Credit: GotCredit via Flickr Creative Commons.\r\n1. Get\u00a0Valuable Feedback\r\n\r\nCriticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary." - Winston Churchill\u00a0\r\nWe can never be the best judge on our own writing - we've spent too much time with it and are too emotionally attached in most cases. This is why we need feedback.\u00a0Having someone else read your work is a great way to find out what's working and what's not. Is the\u00a0character 'real'? Is the setting clear? Are the rhymes contrived or natural? A fresh mind will pick out flaws quickly, and note if the writing is confusing, convoluted, or careless.\u00a0Sharing your draft\u00a0is the only way of knowing if the message you want to convey with your writing is getting across to the reader.\r\n\r\nIt's important though, to carefully choose who will see your writing. There's no point forcing it upon friends who don't read a lot or aren't particularly interested in what you do, just as there is no point handing your manuscript over to your mother, who will most likely tell you it's fantastic, no matter what she really thinks... These people may be better utilised as proof-readers. For true feedback, the best people to show your work to are your contemporaries, other writers who know the process and can\u00a0give you valuable advice and clarification. If you have an editor, that's even better. Otherwise, anyone with an insatiable appetite for literature will work as a general indicator.\r\n\r\nListening to valuable feedback can really improve your writing...\r\n2. Increase Your Confidence\r\nIt takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else." - Erma Bombeck\r\nTo write well\u00a0one has to\u00a0write confidently, but\u00a0confidence can be crippling absent\u00a0for a lot of writers.It's never easy to hand over sweat-and-tear-soaked efforts for someone else to critique. However it is something all authors have to come to terms with.\u00a0Constructive criticism is a vital stretch of road on the path to publication and\u00a0is the only way of knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are.\u00a0Gaining feedback\u00a0will increase your understanding of your own writing and allow you to perfect your writing process. Reading your work aloud at\u00a0groups or events will open up many opportunities for you\u00a0to seek out the analysis you need from others. Not to mention the public speaking practice you'll need for when you're a bestselling author.\r\n\r\nTake a look at these tips on how to overcome your fear and achieve the goals you set.\r\n\r\nOnce you've shared your writing, you become more confident doing so. Practice makes perfect (or close to)...\r\n3.\u00a0Learn and be Inspired\r\nThe more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go"- Dr. Seuss\r\nIt's well documented that children learn a lot from observing and playing with each other. The same can be said of writers. The more you read, the more ideas will spark and the more you'll write. What better way is there\u00a0to learn than from other writers of your generation?\r\n\r\nIf you ask your colleagues to take a look at your work it's very likely they'll request the same of you. Ideally this will lead to regular exchange between a number\u00a0of you.\u00a0 By networking in this way\u00a0you'll be reading the freshest material there is.\u00a0Again this will\u00a0provide you with feedback on your work. In this situation it will be especially useful as you will begin to see if particular issues with your writing\u00a0crop up repeatedly, and you'll learn what criticism you find most helpful. The best feedback is one that provides suggestions and options\u00a0to any problems you may be having because it\u00a0allows you to take a new line of thinking while reworking the material in your own way.\r\n\r\nFinding a writing class, starting and following blogs, submitting to competitions and journals comes highly recommended.\u00a0Opening channels of communication and establishing relationships\u00a0within the world of literature is essential to make progress with your work.\r\n\r\nSharing your writing can lead to learning from others and becoming inspired...\r\n4. Influence An Audience\r\nA drop of ink may make a million think." - George Gordon Byron\r\nWriting really can change the way people think and feel. It's a major reason why\u00a0writers write and readers read. They want to introduce and be introduced\u00a0to new\u00a0ideas and powerful emotions.\r\n\r\nYour writing may mean as much to someone else as it does to you. We write about things that are important to us or things we feel strongly about. It may be something that scares us, a political stance, emotional turmoil etc.\u00a0 How many times have you been reading only to stop and think about how a\u00a0particular\u00a0paragraph reminded you of your\u00a0own life? You can\u00a0offer that same experience to others.\r\n\r\nWhen you share your writing with someone they will ideally be able to\u00a0tell you how it made them feel and how\u00a0they were able to relate to it. Hearing this will instil in you the fact your writing isn't just words, it's an organism. The more people read it, the more it lives.\r\n\r\nEven if you set out to write solely for yourself, to\u00a0remain stable and centred,\u00a0the potential to connect to a reader should be too much to ignore. It's no exaggeration to say that words can save lives (some have completely\u00a0changed\u00a0this author's perspective)\u00a0and no one should hold that power within themselves.\r\n\r\nBy sharing your writing, you may inspire or influence a reader...\r\n\u00a05.\u00a0It's Your Job\r\nYou're not really a writer unless people are reading your shit." - Pearl Madison, The United States Of Leland\r\nDespite the embarrassment that sometimes plagues us when we tell people we are a writer, and the occasional sniggers or blank nods that follow, writing has to be a job. You have to take your writing seriously if you want to succeed. You have to treat it like work, even if you already have a 'day' job.\r\n\r\nSharing your work is a job requirement if you want to call yourself a writer. It's part of the process that leads to publication, acknowledgement and renown. You wouldn't skimp\u00a0on important tasks at your other jobs, so don't\u00a0hold out on this one.\r\n\r\nIf you're a writer, your job is to get your writing out into the world...\r\n\u00a0* * *\r\nUltimately there are\u00a0few negatives to sharing your work. You will gain exposure, learn new techniques, find inspiration, make friends and contacts, raise your self-esteem all while undertaking a worthy pursuit called writing. So now you're ready to share your creative masterpieces, it's time to kickstart your writing career with advice from Editor Kyra Bandte.