Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fear of Rejection

In a conversation today with a co-worker (somewhere between money problems and V.C. Andrews novels), there came a short discourse on the fact that I have a fear of rejection.

The rejection isn’t about people or social settings. I do have social anxiety, but this was more about the fear of putting pieces of myself out there, things I love to do, with the chance that they’ll be rejected. The two main examples are knitting and writing.

I haven’t been knitting long, a few years for standard knitting and a few months for purling and some “extras.” I’ve made some neat stuff, including the Alien Illusion Scarf for Jon and a couple of multi-colored hats. They’re not the best made things, but I ‘m sure they’re better than the potential product of a baboon with knitting needles and some yarn. I have a couple scarves which are actually pretty and at one time, I’d really wanted to put them on etsy. I even set up a store.

Guess what hasn’t made it on etsy? I keep thinking it’s because I’m too lazy to do it. I’m too lazy to find the right angle and lighting to take a picture and oh goodness, even though I’m already on the computer for hours at a time, those extra clicks would just take too much out of me. But seriously? I’m pretty sure I’m just worried they won’t sell and that I’ll have wasted the time doing it and I’ll feel slapped in the face because no one will want my stuff.

I know that sounds ridiculous. People list things on there all the time that doesn’t sell. I follow some people on Twitter who relist regularly, and Craftastrophe has proven that people sell things for a lot of money that look like a can of paint and some cement threw up after a wild night at the bar. I know I’m not the only one who’s ever had something that no one else wanted.

Maybe it’s because I have no confidence in what I make.

Then there’s my writing. On any day, I’ll tell you that I love to write. On a good day, I’ll say that my writing isn’t too bad. On a bad day, or any day that I’m on the verge of writing a query letter or sending in a manuscript, I’ll say that my writing is horrible, there’s no way anyone would publish it, and there’s no point in even trying. Granted, there are a few more steps to sending in a potential novel than listing a handmade item on etsy, but I think my mind processes it the same and says “I don’t want to be rejected.”

My co-worker made a good point. “Either you never try and nothing happens. Or you try and something might happen.” It makes sense in that context, so how come I can’t get my head and emotions around it?

Conclusion drawn: At some point, I have to suck it up and just go for it.

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