So a couple of posts ago, I’d said how I was going through a massive writer’s block that had made writing every day so difficult, and now I’m having other problems too. A few days ago I finally gave in and read ‘Monochrome,’ my first published story. I was afraid to read it because I thought I’d find flaws within it and think that it did not deserve to be published and start doubting my writing all over again when that story had, in fact, helped me be more confident about my writing.
And that’s what happened. I read my story and I saw how I could have made it much, much better than it is. I could make the narrative flow better and I could convey the ideas more directly and precisely. But it’s out there now and I cannot do anything about it. I’m perhaps overthinking because I haven’t received any negative comments on the story yet. Or to be more positive, it could be that in the time that has passed between the day I submitted that story and today, I’ve learned a lot more about storytelling by reading stories (thanks to the Ray Bradbury Reading Challenge) and by writing them (thanks to my goal of getting a hundred rejections this year).
I think reading my story taught me things I should now take care of while writing. After having two stories rejected one after the other not long after my first acceptance, I was losing faith in the story I’m currently working on. One voice told me that it was indeed a complete story and not just an incomplete scene that had no beginning, middle or end; the other told me that I needed to stop editing. I’d found myself agreeing with the second voice in my last post about writing and had even decided to finally send it out and let others tell me whether my doubts were really true or not.
But as of now, I haven’t sent it out yet. I’m still afraid that it’s rubbish. It’s so contradictory to my Hufflepuff aesthetic of hard work and not giving up. I haven’t given up and I won’t. But I haven’t made much progress with my goal of getting published either and something tells me that the two rejections have made me lazy instead of more determined. In the last month I haven’t done much and I’m afraid that if I go this slow, I’m not getting ten acceptances, much less a hundred rejections. I’m so different from the person I was at the beginning of the year. I read all my blog posts from January last night; I was so optimistic and determined back then. I’m still so, but not as much.The determination is there, but so is the fear, and it’s too overpowering
And so I’ve decided. After I’m done writing this post, I’ll send out my story and start working on another one. I’m going to work just as hard on my writing as I am on my studies. Both are equally important to me. I shouldn’t be afraid; I should take the risk and send my stories out. Otherwise the doubt in me will take control and I’ll never know what those stories could’ve done for me had I taken the risk. I still cannot believe that I’m so scared of being rejected. I don’t want fear to ruin all the possibilities I dream of. I’m not going to let the fear win.
Let the story be as good or bad as it is. I’ve been looking at it for about a month now and I’m not sure I know myself what it is. I’ll let it go and work on other things while it comes back with a reply. Good or bad, the response will let me know whether I’m moving in the right direction. Because that’s what I desperately need to know right now in order to have the strength and the courage to keep moving.
I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about. -Emma Watson