When the writing is going well you don't jinx it. You don't post snippets or put up chapters for critique. You protect the work, especially if the work is in first draft and unfinished.

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn. I love sharing my stories. It's what drives me to actually print the pages off and force them upon family members or dear friends. It's also what drives me to become published someday. I want to share these characters, their troubles and triumphs with people I don't know and will likely never meet.

I've gotten two chatpers completed on ANS. Two good chapters. They're solid introductions of each character's current situation. They introduce several threads of conflict I intend to exploit later in the story. They work.

I so want to share these chapters with someone!

You see, when I'm feeling pleased with my writing I admit I want to share it but I've learned to resist the temptation. I need this time to simply enjoy the story. Pleasure will keep me writing, typos and all. Grammatical errors and all. Pleasure will see me through the horrid middle and to the end.

If I put these chapters out there for critique I know what will happen. I'll begin to worry about what other people think and not what I think or feel. Suddenly I'm writing this story not for me or my pleasure but for those I've asked to "critique" the work.

Don't get me wrong. I think every writer needs someone who is brutally honest about their mistakes and oversights. Having an extra set of eyes when it comes to grammar and spelling (typos!) is a godsend. I may not always agree with my critique partners on every little point but I appreciate the time and effort they put forth to ferret out my mistakes. I know in the end, with their help, my work will be better. With their help, I may stand a chance of catching an agent or publisher's eye.

But first, I must protect the creative process. I must resist temptation and continue writing without any feedback. I must trust my instincts.