Today was rough. I learned more about myself, which is good, but often the lesson can be brutal. I also learned that sharing your work exposes things in you that you may not have realized. After all, you are revealing a part of yourself and making yourself vulnerable.
Everyone knows that there’s a big difference in having the knowledge of something and feeling/experiencing it. Intellectually, I know that gathering readers takes time and that the most important thing I can do is be consistent with writing. Intellectually, I know that not everyone is a fan of the genre I choose to write in. Intellectually, I know that not everyone is going to care about my writing endeavors. And, intellectually, I know that there is a massive learning curve when it comes to writing, publishing, and marketing yourself.
The heart doesn’t always register what the head is saying. I know that many people experience this. I know that I’ve experienced it. Hell, I’ve even counseled people through it. You’d think that I’d know by now to not rely completely on my feelings.
Nope. Not even close.
Today I published my first short story on Wattpad, and I realized how much I depend on the approval of others. Within a few short MINUTES of posting my story and sharing the links to Facebook and Instagram, my anxiety began to skyrocket because no one was liking or commenting on my posts. No one suddenly wanted to follow me on Wattpad.
Many of my Facebook (and real-life) friends did not choose to follow my author-Instagram, even though they follow my other friends’ accounts. And again, intellectually (I’m starting to hate that word), I know that they probably haven’t really considered it because they have their own lives. But it’s hard to stop the feelings of rejection and disapproval from affecting me.
As a writer, I know that I need to be able to cope with rejection; it’s just part of the lifestyle. Or to quote from The Mandalorian, “This is the way”.
I realized today that I crave the approval of others far more than I crave to write. This is one of the things that has kept me from writing. If I can’t be liked, then I’ve failed. Logically, that makes no sense if my goal is to be a successful author.
I should write because I love it and to give something to my readers; not to gain approval from them. Overall, I’m grateful for what sharing my work has taught me already. Better now than when it really matters. But still, going through it…*sigh*
I’m going to focus on changing this mindset and push through it. My “words” for 2020 are discipline, persistance, and resilience–or, to sum them up in one word, faith.
I’ve included the link to my story on Wattpad. I hope you enjoy it! (I really do, not because I need you to.)