As writers, we live in a vacuum. Well, it depends on our personality type. If we're extroverts, we are quick to overshare with others, and since extroverts are more likely to have lots of friends, they have a ton of people to share their work with.
For others of us--the introverts--we live quiet lives, and we write in secret. As bizarre as it is, my family didn't know I enjoyed writing until summer of 2016. No one knew I wrote--not even friends I had known since elementary and middle school. It was only recently that I began letting them in on my other world.
My coworkers don't know I do this, and as a result, I have shunned them on social media, going so far as to use another name and obsessively deleting my web history and trails so they can't pin my online writing profile to me.
I feel as if I am doing something wrong, and even though I've convinced myself I don't care if they find out, the thought of them finding out my secret identity feels heart-wrenching and ready to send me into a panic attack.
This means I am quick to click off the web when they--family, coworkers and friends are near, which makes it look as if I am hiding something. I know they know I am, "up to something" and even if it's non controversial, it feels strange.
It keeps coming back to my personality--introverted and quiet.
But, the truth is, also, I fear I am not a good writer. I am insecure about my writing. And though I know many writers might feel the same way, I can't shake it. Did I write crap or something good? I can't say, and since I won't let anyone read my work, it's been a frustrating experience in self-flagellation that has robbed me of getting the feedback I want and need.
I need beta readers. I know that now. I need to have others read my work. After a summer of failed "crowdfunding" campaigns, I have defaulted back to something quite simple. I have begun focusing on building a "beta reading group." I don't anticipate a large group, but I am hoping to create a space for people who are not opt to putting themselves out there. People who need others to see their work. People who don't have a rowdy group of friends, and who don't want to nag their co-workers and family.
I can't promise you The Inklings, but we can create something together. So, if you live in my area and want to belong, join up: http://www.meetup.com/North-York-Sci-Fi-Fantasy-Meetup/events/235209992/