You have to be a little arrogant to write, I think. When I finish writing a short story, a poem, even, sometimes, a blog entry, I know that it is genius, and I am brilliant. There is a beautiful, and sometimes terrible cure for this arrogance: sharing your work.

Recently, I shared a few poems with a friend. It’s been a while since I’ve been in workshop and I forgot about the sharp intake of breath you get when someone suggests that you change something. I forgot what criticism felt like. On the flip side, I forgot what it feels like to be praised, to hear someone say that you struck a chord, to know that this person is taking something that you created seriously.

Writing is hard.

If you’re me, you spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to write, then you write it. There is an indeterminate period of time which comes after this during which I congratulate myself for having written. Then, if I’m feeling brave, I share the piece with someone else. If I’m lucky, that person will treat me like my friend did, with care, with respect, with joy in the process. Because it’s all the process. From the idea, to the actual writing, congratulations and the workshop, revision and beyond.