Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Insecure Writers Support Group: Taking the Plunge
On October 4, 2011, I sat in front of my computer with my finger hovering over my mouse. I was trying to talk myself into hitting "SUBMIT" to post the first chapter of a story online.
I'd managed to talk myself into writing it. "You don't have to post it," I told myself. "You don't even have to save it, if you don't want to." It took me a few days, but I finally did it: I typed out the first chapter of a story that had lived in my mind for years.
I'd never really considered writing any of my stories. I didn't think anyone would be interested. But that was one of the selling points when I sat down in front of the computer. I was putting my stories on this massive community, amidst hundreds of thousands of others. Not only was I anonymous, I was also likely to remain unnoticed.
I'll be honest with you: I was scared. I don't have a thick skin and I had seen some of the reviews left for other stories, some of which were incredibly cruel. I told myself if that happened, I'd just delete the story and slip away, no one ever being the wiser. I had my exit strategy planned before I even talked myself into hitting that "SUBMIT" button.
I certainly never expected what happened. I honestly don't know if I'd have been able to talk myself into it if I had known what was in store. Now that I'm here, I'm discovering courage I didn't know I had.
Know this: once you start, you'll discover that things aren't as bad as you feared. I was afraid of mockery, of cruelty, of having my suspicions that I had no talent and my stories were boring confirmed. What I found instead was incredible kindness and support. Did I encounter some meanness? Yes, of course. No writer has ever managed to completely escape that. But I found I could keep it in its proper perspective.
It was late in the evening before I managed to convince myself to click that button. But I'm glad I did.
You can join the Insecure Writer's Support Group and see other posts in the series here, and my first post on the topic.
at 8:29 PM