I hit send…

I did a thing. And then got slammed.

On November 25, 2020, I submitted something I wrote. It was to an online site, using a writing prompt. The parameters were pretty easy. Start with this phrase … and end with this phase… and write 1000-3000 words. So I did. I’ve never put my writing out there like that. I’ve published a ton of blog posts and a few short stories, but I have never publicly thrown down like this. I was nervous and was definitely feeling self-conscious. The story was fiction, so that was a little different for me to write, but I thought why not. I thought it would be fun to stretch myself a little bit. I thought my story was a little dark, but decent. 

It felt great. I felt like I really did a good thing and was supporting myself and pushing myself. I was super proud of myself. So when I received an email a few days later with a notification that someone commented on my post, I was really excited to see what that person had to say. I read the “critique” and immediately felt like someone punched me right in the gut. You know that gut feeling, where you just want to crawl in a hole and hide. The kind where you feel it throughout your whole body. Every single inch of your body feels the shame and humiliation. The hotness of those feelings radiating throughout your body. It’s so tangible right now as I write this. That feeling sure stuck. The feeling of being so embarrassed and wondering why you even tried. Yeah, that feeling. It was gut-wrenching for sure. All the emotions circled around for days. More than days actually.

I felt like such a failure and I questioned everything about my writing. That feeling stayed with me for a while. I didn’t want to write anything. I couldn’t. It blunted my creativity for several weeks. There was nothing critique-y about it. It was pretty much a full body slam. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I have not gone back to that site. I don’t know if I will submit anything there again. I might. It will probably take a long, long time if I do. I can’t let one person’s opinion sway me from continuing. 

I think about the things people say and their unsolicited opinions and advice, and I try to put myself in other people’s shoes. For example, I liken this to when someone who is trying to make some positive changes in their life. This person decides in order to change they should start working out. They buy a gym membership. It takes guts to put yourself out there. Then this person goes to the gym and gets made fun of because they are overweight or not doing an exercise correctly. The point is they showed up. They showed up to try and make some changes. They showed up to be better. Isn’t that enough?

I showed up for myself and got shot down. It took me a while to get over that. And frankly, it still stings. It stopped me in my tracks for a while., but I feel like I am back to being my “normal” self with my writing. I don’t plan to give up. I plan to keep going. I will keep writing. I will keep working at it. Why? Because I love it. Because I care about getting my words on paper and because I care about growing and stretching myself in this craft.

What you say matters. Remember that. You can inspire or you can dishearten. You can motivate or you can discourage. Think about that before you respond. You never know what someone has been through or what someone is going through. Be helpful and be positive. 

If something like this has happened to you, I would love to hear how you persevered. I would love to hear how you kept going and how you are doing now. Please let me know. I love to hear from you. 

Shine your light. 

12 thoughts on “I hit send…

  1. oh, i get where you are coming from. I would of felt the same way. But don’t spend time there. This tells of their own insecurities and unhappiness. This is a person who’s vibration is at a lower level and are searching for ways to make themselves feel better and more powerful by tearing others down. From a place of love their words would not of made you feel like they did. They would of energized you. It might help to send a little prayer asking this person be healed of all that holds them in a place of unhappiness and send them love and light to lift them up to a level of joy that they can not ever hurt others with their words. Then, let it go and never let it stop you from writing and putting yourself out there. Trust your light is what the world needs. ❤

  2. You and brave and spot on! If we never put yourself out there or take risks, we will never grow. I think of so many people through history were given negative criticism or told they couldn’t do something… wow, where would we be! I feel that constructive criticism is helpful at times for improvement and growth. I went to college at 38 and got an Associate Degree as a Surgical Technologist. At the time, a single Mom with four kids ages K thru 12. Believe me there were many that ask “why are you doing this” and many negative people and comments. I set a goal to show my kids you can succeed if you really really want to, no matter what others think or say. I drove 120 miles a day for two years and worked 2 part time jobs while raising fine kids. ☺️ I graduated with honors.

    Your writing warms my heart. ❤️ Keep writing!

  3. Peggie! Your entry was YOU and because of that alone, it has merit. You put yourself “out there” to be challenged. You were challenged with the harsh not so helpful critique. You are still learning about yourself. I don’t think that ever stops. No one is ever at the TOP in everyone’s eyes, but I believe any sincere effort is beautiful in God’s eyes. I appreciate your writings and have always wished I could put all my thoughts on paper, but flowers get in the way. Kay

  4. There are rude and small people out there who bravely type and send out thoughts they would never dream of saying in person. Unless the person was a published author from whom you sought feedback, I would ignore. I am sorry a keyboard warrior attacked you. It points to his/her insecurity and jealousy not to the quality of your work product.

  5. I felt that pain when you wrote it. It’s happened to me countless times. I don’t know why. When I was younger being called fat, ugly, DUFF, you’re not smart enough… It’s crushing. I’m teary just recalling it.

    I dealt with it by knowing that they don’t know me. The person that I am. It’s worse now that there is so many anonymous ways to rip on someone. Quite honestly, years ago it took longer, now, I just say a prayer for them, that they don’t treat their children and loved ones that way. My faith is much much stronger than it has ever been and I know the Lord loves me.

    I am sorry that someone was so ugly to you. Heart pain is the worst.

  6. PEGGIE xoxo you are brave in so many ways: writing here to begin with; stepping out and beyond your comfort zone in more ways than one in that new space, and then picking up the pen as it were, even while still wincing from the attack, and sharing with us.

    I’ve yet to receive this re: my writing, but oh have I gotten all kinds of unsolicited feedback on workouts, hair color/style, body weight, and my parenting. The last one was about 9 months ago, from a family member and I was furious. Under that rage, I was heartbroken and unsure. How DARE she, my brain shouted. What if she was right, my heart feared.

    You are a soul sister indeed.

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