Seriously. It keeps me up at night. All I can think about is how annoyed my friends are that I’m asking them to read my second rate fiction. And to top it off, I sometimes ask for feedback, which I worry about even more, because then they have to not only read my stories but think of something intelligent/supportive/helpful to say in response to them. It all feels so much like I’m assigning homework. And then I worry that they’ll want to avoid me IRL because they think I’ll ask them if they read my stories, and they’ll have to either pretend they did or make up an excuse to why they didn’t.
Also, I obsess that Facebook is just not the right place for certain things. I think to myself that no one is going on Facebook to do more work. People go to Facebook to take a break from work. I’m not looking for anything on FB that’ll take a bunch of time or energy to deal with. Why would anyone else be looking for that from me?
I’ve also read that it’s not a good idea to over-tax your social network for things that are considered your professional work. Not that I’m much of a story writer. But I do work as a writer for a (meager) living. And I aspire to be a published author. So, in my mind, every time I share a story on Facebook, I think I’m asking my friends to help me be successful in my profession. Which is a big ask.
So I usually have to psych myself out before I can hit the “share” button on my blog.
Yeah, I know, I’ve got some anxiety issues.
But, still, I have been sharing my stories on FB for the past month. I do it because there are actually some people in my social circles who like my stories (not many, but they do exist!). And they’re not bloggers and they don’t have WordPress accounts, so the way they find my stories is through Facebook.
And the truth is, every time even just one person genuinely enjoys reading what I wrote, I feel a little bit elated. And as much as I’d like to say I write my stories for me, that’s not actually the whole reason. I’m not JD Salinger. Its not my dream to hide in a shed and write stories in secret until my dying day.
It’s more accurate to say: I write to connect myself to other people. To communicate something about my experience that maybe resonates with someone else’s experience. To entertain someone. To make someone feel something, think something.
So, that’s the upside of sharing my stories. It’s whole lotta self-consciousness and fears that I’m burning through my limited social currency. But still worth it to get that one unexpected message from a reader saying, “Hey, that was pretty cool.”