My first short story was published in 2018. I was ecstatic. Over-the-moon excited. And then I was scared. What if I never published again? What if that was my one shot? Ack! The horror!
So I stopped. Life got wild and I stopped writing almost entirely. I was in a couple of online writer’s groups and that kept me fed. Snippets here and there. I started a few projects, wrote a couple of interesting pieces. But I wasn’t submitting anything.
September, 2019. A friend in one of my Facebook groups posted a call for submissions for something called a “drabble.” What’s a drabble, said I. A drabble, I learned, is a story of exactly 100 words. Not one word more, not one word less. I was intrigued. A challenge!
Five minutes later, I had my 100 words. My wife is my sounding board for all things, so I showed her. Her eyes lit up, she asked what the hell was wrong with me (it’s a creepy little piece), and I knew I had something with potential. I took a chance and sent it off before I could chicken out.
That was the first of what would become a string of twenty-four acceptances before the end of the year. Mostly for drabbles, but for some longer pieces as well. I shared my successes with friends and family and they not only encouraged me, but challenged me to keep going.
Fear is a funny thing. It wobbles in the face of support. The more you stand up to it, the less power it has. I’ve seen one rejection so far this year, and one acceptance as well. The first stung a little. I liked that story. But it didn’t throw me off. It’s all part of the journey.