Show them to: colleagues, bosses, and subordinates. Also, critique buddies, workshoppers, editors, and agents. Also, friends and family members who get what you're doing. And, of course, your audience.
Perfectionist writers are terrified of having their work seen and judged, so they keep it private--and, in doing so, create a "wall" between themselves and potential readers and critics.
They hide behind that wall, endlessly writing and revising, but never finishing or submitting or publishing. (Sometimes they don't write at all, since that's an even better technique for remaining unseen and unjudged!)
The problem is: the more a writer hides, the more terrifying showing his work becomes, until the wall becomes enormous and insurmountable.
And that tends to speed the entire writing process, from conceptualization and drafting through to revising, submitting, and publishing. You become bolder and more resilient--a.k.a., less perfectionist--and you also get catalyzing feedback and support.
This technique is, of course, congruent with 21st century marketing via social media. We're long past the days when writers sequestered their work until it was fully polished and edited. These days, readers want to share your process via social media, and maybe even be included in it.
So, show your work early and often.
Maybe no social media at first, until you get more resilient. And extra points for telling your "showees" what response you want: e.g.,
Eventually, you'll probably come to enjoy showing your work, and you'll probably also be able to write faster than you ever thought possible.
- Adapted from an article originally published on How to Write Fast