The Power of Feedback
Getting feedback on your work, the anticipation of it, the surprise of another perspective, can be hugely refreshing and spark the next leg of your creativity.
Ever have this happen to you? You're working on a piece. Maybe it's a short story, maybe it's a chapter in your novel. Whatever it is, you find yourself drifting towards all of the other things you have to do, like straightening up around your place, exercising--anything but dealing with that work in progress.
But then you find someone, or a group of someones, or perhaps they find you. And these folks want to read what you've written. These readers could be anyone, from a family member who normally only reads manga, to an avid reader of your specific genre, to a professional, published author. It doesn't even matter--whoever it is will bring a new perspective from the type of person who might one day pick up your story. They are a part of your audience.
You don't think it's ready. In fact you know it isn't. But, reluctantly, you share what you've got so far.
The first feedback they'll likely give you is that what you've already written is better than you thought it was--most of us are our own worst critics. Then they'll tell you things they got from your story and the things they didn't quite understand. Much of it wil be new and elucidating, giving you new directiions or ways to think about your characters plot and themes. But this is sort of what you expected, right?