I must admit I’m struggling.
The basic premise is that you get a prompt each Sunday, you write a poem or a piece of flash fiction (750 words max.) and link back to the Speakeasy by Wednesday night and then on Thursday, everyone reads all the submissions and votes for their three favourite entries. On Fridays, the top three entries are announced, as well as an editor’s pick.
It’s been hugely effective in getting me to write more fiction, though for some reason I haven’t posted any poems as part of these prompts.
Actually, scratch that. I know the reason. It’s because as much as I tell myself I don’t care about being one of those lucky people who are named on Fridays, I do. And it seems the poems just don’t get the votes.
But it seems I just don’t get the votes either.
Which is fine. But you know, human nature being what it is, you always think it might be nice.
I hate to admit this. I find it hard to admit it. Like it’s a shameful thing to want to get some votes. But is it? Doesn’t everyone want some kind of positive recognition?
I enjoy the lovely comments people leave me on my stories. And I enjoy the positive atmosphere of the Speakeasy itself. Everyone is very supportive of each other. I have also gained a wider audience as a result of participating.
I think the problem is me.
I don’t mean that in a self-depricating way. I mean it in a realistic way. I judge myself too harshly already so it’s easy for me to assume that my stuff just isn’t that good.
The thing is, I like what I write, most of the time. And I like having that extra push each week to write fiction.
I just can’t seem to disentangle the positive experience from my negative outlook. My own insecurities are killing some of the joy of writing. I am no longer writing for me.
I focus too much on what people want to read, and on trying to figure out what people like to read.
I worry too much about what people will think of me and my writing each time I post something.
I worry too much about what people will think of me if I don’t post something.
I’m worrying too much about what people will think of me when they read this post.
I know I need to stop all those lines of thinking but it’s a struggle. A struggle I really don’t need in my life.
I need to get back to the joys of creating, of sharing, of unburdening, of unconstricted thinking.
And I need to write some poems.
So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that I should continue writing weekly entries based on the prompts but not enter my posts for voting. Sure, fewer people will read them but maybe it will allow me to give myself a break.
Maybe that’s all I need for now.