The process of posting up fiction here has been an eye-opening experience.
What I’ve learned so far:
- That ideas come in an endless supply.
- Sometimes when all the pieces come together, alchemy happens, and greater themes emerge unintended.
- People can take away vastly different things from the same tale.
- That no one can tell the difference between when a story was easy to write, and when it was difficult.
- That I’m the worst judge of what people will like.
Speaking of number 5, most of the time I feel like I’m blind. I have no idea if a story will be successful when I’ve written it. Some of the time, I’m satisfied with what I’ve produced. Other times I don’t really like it at all, but I’ll post it up or send it out anyway.
More often than not, the stories I don’t feel strongly about, or I think were the most badly written, get the most positive attention. Some of the feedback here boggles my mind (Thank you! It’s amazing to get any kind of feedback so quickly, bad or good, I appreciate it all) and I have to scratch my head and wonder, huh? They liked that?
I’m trying to understand why this happens. Is it because I’m not so focused on controlling the story, that the randomness, that alchemy, has freedom to happen? Is it because what I enjoy may be too personal or particular to appeal on a wide scale? Or is it because, by some accident, I managed to tap into a deeper level of story?
I’ve encountered a few writers whose experience mirrors my own. That stories they never expected to sell, are sold first. It’s like digging for gold, finding something that sparkles, but not knowing if it’s gold or pyrite.
I wonder if it gets any easier, if one day I’ll know the difference. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to keep sending my stories out into the world blindly.
Does this happen to you too?