This year I ran from fear and stepped from the shadows to display my work in ways I would have never dreamed. I started this blog, which is a horror show in its own right, and I’ve began submitting stories to contests. Both of these are horribly wondrous opportunities to be struck down, or worse, ignored.
When you write you leave little bits of yourself on the page. Try as hard as you might, but this can’t be stopped. If somehow you manage to keep yourself all to yourself, then the writing turns out to be flat and listless. Because the page is covered with these bits, letting someone read your work is akin to flaying your dreams and displaying your void. Taking a strangers hand and leading them through your soul is heart stopping, yet exhilarating. The highs when praised or congratulated for a tale well weaved are like no drugs I’ve ever done. They are quite as addicting, but they can’t just be found on any street corner. They must be paid for with struggle and tear, and you will always be left wanting.
I have a friend who once said many years ago, “If I ask out 100 women eventually one of them will say yes”. We had very different views on some things. I would spend the night buying drinks for and talking to one girl, while he ran the bar talking to the rest of them. I won’t get into specifics but I’m sure you can guess who had the better success rate. Writing is sadly similar to my dating life in my early 20’s. I have only one wildly popular post on my site. I have submitted a few stories to contests just this year, and only one so far has placed. It’s hard to accept such shitty results with all of those bits of yourself under such scrutiny but, like dating not everyone is going to like what you have to offer. You just have to keep trying.
It can very well take over a year for even the best blog to pick up steam and really get rolling. It can take much longer than that to get published. Whether you write in the digital world or print you just have to keep laying bare the ragged edges of your soul for the world to see. Like dating, eventually you will find your perfect audience, and they will fall in love.