A couple of weeks ago, I had my second piece of flash fiction published online. I was nervous what comments I might receive – I know that from behind their monitors, some people can be jerks. Despite my need to be a writer, I don’t handle criticism well, even when it’s offered in a constructive way.
But I couldn’t have been more surprised. All of the comments and feedback I received was lovely. There were a number of comments on the story itself, and I had some equally great feedback on both Facebook and Twitter. Even friends in person congratulated me, which was a whole new experience.
Last weekend, the anxiety kicked in anyway. What if they were only commenting because they felt sorry for me? Surely more people read the story than just those – did they hate it? Did the publisher only publish it because they didn’t have any other submissions? I came close to just giving up then and there.
But then I read through my Twitter feed and discovered something astonishing.
Other writers go through these same emotions. All the damn time. Even published authors. Even some of my favourite published authors who project an air of confidence in everything they do. So maybe what I was feeling wasn’t my own personal anxieties. Maybe it was something completely normal and I just need to ignore it and push past.
So today I got back on my proverbial horse, and submitted a new story to a new website. I don’t know if I’ll be successful, or if I’ll receive any feedback at all, but one thing’s for sure – I’ll probably have exactly the same thoughts next time.
I just won’t let it slow me down.