There’s a feeling you get when you are home alone in the middle of the night. It stirs you awake and leaves you wondering whether your soul is truly the only one in your bedroom. A dash of panic and you try your best to remind yourself to breathe. You contemplate the idea of asking for help. You wish for a living companion to come and comfort you from the uncertainties the lie waiting in the dark.
I occasionally try to bottle this feeling only to let it run rampant on the page. I recently turned this irrational yet inherent fear into a new short story. I was also given the opportunity to have the suspenseful story published in an anthology that was put together by the small indie publishing house, Z Publishing.
“In The Dead of Night” is all about that feeling of being watched in the most vulnerable way. It’s about how real irrational fear can feel for the person who is experiencing it. Recognizing these fears and elaborating on them reveals the commonality of these feelings in all people. It’s very human to feel afraid sometimes, but it is what we do with that fear that makes or breaks us.
I have dabbled in telling short stories of suspense for a while now. However, I never followed through with the majority of them by submitting them to publishing houses or in contests until just recently. “In The Dead of Night” is the second short story of mine that has been published in a print anthology in the last year, and it’s one of a handful of pieces that I actually ever did anything with after I finished writing them. I realized that my own fear of rejection had crept up on me.
Writers, like most artists, are constantly kept in one of the most vulnerable positions. They wish to share their most personal thoughts and feelings with the world with the possibility of backlash and rejection. The people who read the very words that come from a writer’s soul can just as easily tear a writer down as they can uplift them. It can all be soul-crushing to find out no one likes your work. I’m working on this, but I want to get to that point in my writing career where I don’t let the fear of rejection stop me from sharing my work. In my mind, I assume that it is one thing to blog once a week and receive a few comments here or there, but it’s another thing to receive an email or a letter in the mail telling you that your words are not good enough, even if that’s not the case.
I know the focus shouldn’t be on this fear. As a writer, we should always continue to write because we like writing. There are people out there that will enjoy your work. You may need to develop and polish it up a bit, but you can always find the type of reader that will show a preference for the words that you arrange on the page. You just can’t let that fear break you.
You can purchase the book, America’s Emerging Suspense Writers: Pacific Region that I was recently published in, or any of my other books, on my site here.