How writing a novel is like walking around in your knickers

Writing a novel is a little to a lot like walking about in your knickers in public. It's nerve-wracking, sometimes not weather appropriate, and it makes you suddenly see and dislike all the little things you know? Like, you're fabulous, you really are and so is your novel but now everyone is looking at it you're certain its apostrophes are a little too many in number and the grammar is all wrong and, also, who thought it would be a good idea to involve aliens in this book? You did, but much like walking around in your knickers outside, all that will really strike you when you let people read your manuscript is that  a) it's hot in here, is it hot in here? it's so hot what is going on is this a prank? is it just me or is it really warm in here? also, stop reading the words pls and focus on my anxiety attack... I mean, the situation in which it is unusually hot in this room and b) writing is hard. What's important to recall when you let people read your writing, or when you wander around almost naked in public, are the good things. The obstacles and trials you've faced are many! Congratulate yourself and stand tall because you've spent the last little while:

Avoiding police officers plot holes: Walking around in your undies is slightly to very not okay currently in public because of boring reasons. Letting people read your book is not. You've faced similar adversity though! You've run the plot gauntlet and faced chapter endings like they were nothing! You've become a genius plot manipulator. You've watched characters bend to your will. You also have done some bending of space and time and words. Look at you! You're so bendy I love it.


Coming out of the brambles edits unscathed: It's harder than you think and statistically unlikely that you'll come out of the editing cave without injury but look at you! Still standing! Invincible! Some might say you are suspiciously invincible like, are you covered in some kind of grease or something making you a tiny bit shiny and a lot slippery and so debris from the rewrites just slides off of you? But I am not one of those people! I love how shiny you look. Shiny things are in my top five favourite things to look at.

Dealing with tricksy characters: This is how we deal with characters that refuse to play ball in novels. You gave them a time out and a stern seeing to. You ran back and apologised profusely when they continued their ridiculous obsession with creating plot problems. You bribed them with chocolate, and house plants, and your last slipper, and finally you won! Congrats! If anything is certain it is that they are no longer 2D! Go ahead and reward yourself for this triumph.

Celebrating: The fact that another chapter is done, and that the words keep on flowing. That no police officers have noticed you're practically naked right now. The fact that it is all beginning to make sense to you at 3am in the morning after your 17 million cup of tea. That you have friends who love you, and will forever adore you no matter what your novel turns into. That this book finally means something to someone somewhere (even if that means meaning something to you) and that is has life.

Not getting stuck: This puppy is stuck. You are not stuck. You got unstuck some time ago. Unlike this puppy, who is, incase we were unclear on this, stuck. In a salad bowl. You are the master of your own salad bowl and the diviner of your fate! You are the puppy legs beneath your feet! Go forth and own your writerly salad bowl of destiny! Know that no matter what needs altering or changing that writing is an amazing feat. Also, and I feel like this is really key here, you are not stuck in a salad bowl.

What things do you try to keep in mind when you let people read your words?