Today we exchanged our drafts with peers to receive feedback and engage in peer-editing. I always encourage the students I TA to do this, and to get in the practice of having someone else read and edit their work (and vice versa).
Why, then, is it so hard for me to share my draft? I can’t say it’s because this time the content was deeply personal (it was, but isn’t it always?). I think it’s more so because the act of writing itself is extremely personal. After spending time crafting a draft, sculpting thoughts and sentences, to have them questioned can be an affront, one that we’re not always ready for.
But it’s still important. Terrifying, but important. It’s often difficult (if not impossible) to discover our own errors and lapses when writing, which is why having a fresh pair of eyes edit, question and critique your work is beneficial. This type of interaction is what helps us grow and improve as writers.
So today was hard. But ultimately rewarding and beneficial.