Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Putting it out there

So, I have this huge fear of rejection. I have had it since I was a wee lad, and there doesn’t seem to be any hope of it fully going away. The one area in my life where I have the most trouble with it is my writing. Whenever I manage to finish a story, I almost never put it out there for public consumption. Usually, I send it to a choice few friends, asking for critiques. Generally, I get back “attaboys” and not much more. This is fine, because at least I know that my writing entertained someone. But lately, I have been trying to polish my writing, and so I have been asking for real critiques, and have taken what I have gotten back to heart, prompting rewrites and revamps.

But, anyways, back to my fear of rejection. I have a friend who writes a lot. He wrote a story a week for an entire year. I am envious of is ability to do so. And not only that, but he put all of them up on a blog for the world to see. And there’s just something about that that I can’t do. Every story I work on, especially the ones I finish are like precious children to me. I want to keep them safe from harm. What if people don’t like them? What if they think they are crap? I know it’s stupid, but I can’t help it.

I think there is also the fact that I have always wanted to be published and paid for writing. So I am loathe to give away what I could possibly sell. Perhaps that’s a bit arrogant of me. To think that every piece of crap I write is worth something tangible.

So, here’s my thing; I have a FictionPress account. In the past I have posted up a couple of works there. I’ve gotten some feedback, and it’s good. But I’m thinking about putting each story I write up there. And when I want to try to submit something for publication, take it down. Would this work? Would this be a good or bad thing? Or is this just me making a mountain out of a molehill, since most of the stuff that get “self-published” online is filed away by the majority of people as “amateur” and not worth even looking at?

Or would anyone even care one way or another?

Chances are, I’m just babbling here, and I’ve already lost anyone who bothered reading this after the first sentence…


Charles Gramlich said...

I don't know exactly what Fictionpress is, but my understanding is this, if you put something up on a blog that is open to the public then you have essentially published it and few magazines will be interested in paying for that material, although they 'might' consider it as a reprint. However, if you post a story to a limited online audience, such as an online critique group, then it is not considered to have been published. If Fictionpress has a limited number of people who must register in order to view the material, then you might be OK. I tend to put some stuff on my blog and just consider it a give away. If I have something I want to publish and hopefully get paid for I never put it up on the net before trying to sell it, although occassionally I will post a 'small' piece of it or a partial draft version online.

Tom said...

After giving it some thought, I actually came to the same conclusion myself. I guess I'm not as interested in churing out quantity as I am with churning out quality. Bottom line, I will be submitting everything I am comfortable with for publication, at least a few times, before I just stick it out there.

By the way, Fiction Press is a site that is mainly for fan-fiction and has a huge audience, technically. However, with so much stuff there, it's easy to get lost. I don't think anyone read what I put out there that wasn't pointed there by me personally.

Thanks for weighing in, Dr. G. Your opinion is valuable and appreciated. :)