I finished the second draft of my short story Good Thoughts. I won’t lie. I loved it. It’s fabulous. It’s all that I hoped it would be. Good hook, strong ending. I don’t mind saying the middle’s pretty good too. Time to press the send button to my buddies … my buddies who will find what I missed, and possibly rip it to shreds. All the doubt that lingers outside the door rushes in. Why did I press send? I should have added more to the ending. Was more detail needed? Should I have gotten more technical? The publisher’s going to hate it. What was I thinking?
Perhaps the better question is why do I doubt myself? Why do writers go through this act of self-depreciation? If I liked the story I sent out, I already know it’s a good story. It might need a little fixing (and it did) and that’s just it, it’s fixable. Why go through the act of a whining puppy pissing on the floor begging for approval? The only answer I have to the question is it’s human nature. I’d like to say it gets easier with more writing, more critiquing, more experience, but I’d be telling a big fat lie. It is what it is. Face the fear of rejection and fix what needs fixing.
But the most important message is to give people the opportunity to say that they love your story. Give them the opportunity to read it. Don’t write and hide it. Don’t write and be afraid someone won’t like it. You can’t please everyone. Your story won’t be for everyone. You could write a classic beautiful romance story that sells to a million and I would still puke because no matter how good you are, I don’t care for romance novels. I give my horror novel to a romance novel lover and guess what? Guess where that one star review came from. Someone who reads mostly romance. You won’t find romance in House of Redemption (maybe a little lust). Ultimately, did I get butthurt over that one star review? Not at all. It wasn’t applicable to my novel as this person was not my reader (aka a person who reads horror).
You cannot enjoy the perks, the endorphins that flood your body, when someone says they loved your story if you do not give them the opportunity to read.