Posting My Flash Fiction & Poetry Didn’t Kill Me (Opinion)

I started my blog in March 2014 with the purpose of creating a place for my fiction. I wanted to launch an author career and get my pieces seen. That didn’t happen. I procrastinated by writing a slew of nonfiction pieces and book reviews because I was too afraid to “step out there.”

While I don’t regret this, I didn’t feel fulfilled. So I started sharing my flash fiction and poetry instead. It’s no exaggeration to say that this decision helped me grow not only as a writer, but as a person. How? First…

I got over a personal stigma

As a child, I treated my writing as an ancient secret I needed to hide from an evil syndicate. I hid my notebooks in odd places—under a sibling’s bed (the one place they wouldn’t expect), linen closet, stuffed between the carpet and the floorboards—only to forget and have them found, anyway.

The fear of being judged fueled this stigma.

Not only did I see there was no harm but also humbled because I wasn’t worthy of it.

The biggest influence in any creative’s work is themselves. We tie our visions to our experiences, beliefs, and interests whether directly or indirectly. I never kept a diary, just my stories. So, in some weird way, I felt that I slathered my inner workings within my notebooks. Therefore, having them read was a very vulnerable experience.

But this was all irrational. What’s the point in writing if no one reads it? Posting my first piece (“Shadows in the City of Light“) was liberating. Not only did I see there was no harm but also humbled because I wasn’t worthy of it.

I wanted to create more!

Publishing my writing here was like jumping into a pool on a sultry summer’s day. Jarring then, after a short while, calming and addictive. I wanted to post more especially when my blog stagnated. This meant rifling through my old notebooks and posting acceptable pieces.

Then a thought occurred: “I’m losing all of it!” (all is dramatic but that’s how fear works)

So I started replenishing what I took from my backlog, thus increasing my writing output.

I fell in love with poetry

I felt no particular way about poetry, I just preferred to read them than write them. It was usually profound poems that pulled my attention. The ones that said something about the human experience that most are too afraid to admit, but not always. Sometimes a poem that made English beautiful sufficed enough.

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

A Man Said to the Universe by Stephen Crane

Unfortunately, my familiarity with poetry stopped at Wordsworth, Sandburg, Petrarca, etc. It wasn’t until I read poetry online by fellow writers via tumblr, twitter, or wordpress did I become inspired to write more poetry and share them.

Now they come easier to me than they used to.

I suppose the actual reason I’m sharing my experience is to encourage writers like me. Those who are too afraid to step out, but really want to. My blog is more aligned with its original purpose ever since I started posting my flashes and poetry. Honestly, if it’s something you want to do, try.

It’s not like it will kill you.

Do you post your writing on your blog and social platforms? Was it an easy decision? Did you learn anything? If you don’t share your writing, have you wanted to? Why? (see you in the comments)

Cover photo: Typewriter by Suzy Hazelwood via Pexels.
Photo #2: Journals by Julia Joppien via Unsplash.
Poem: “A Man Said to the Universe” by Stephen Crane via Poetry Foundation.