Keep Some for Yourself

I have this fear of my “duds” file. Once a story goes in there I feel that it’s dead and buried. I don’t know why I don’t delete the garbage that ends up there. Sometimes it’s helpful to go through it to remind myself how far I’ve come.

But lately it’s not the file I fear so much as having to decide what goes in it. What determines if a story is “good” or not? My favorite story of mine, that I think is the best thing I’ve ever written, keeps getting rejected. It’s like being stabbed, shot, and spit on at the same time.

A great deal of my published short stories are the ones I wasn’t sure of. I don’t know how to remedy this. What I am learning is that some stories mean so much to the writer personally, that I don’t think they translate well to others.

Does that make sense?

Like what I love is so very much a part of me that others can relate to it, but nowhere near as much. I contemplated posting it here. I might if at least a couple of people request it. Need someone to read if I’m gonna put it out there. If no one cares, there’s no use. Don’t worry, I won’t take it personally if you don’t care. That’s life.

Either way, I think I’m going to have to create a new folder. A “me” folder. This will be reserved for those intimate pieces that just don’t fit with any publications, but mean so much to me that I can’t junk them in the “duds” pile.

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