I have writing friend - amazing writer, amazing woman - who entered a short story in a contest for the first time a few months ago. She first shared it with several critique buddies, me included, and it was a great story.
It was a contest where readers voted on their favorite story and within the first two days her story was in first place in the contest. Readers could also post comments and/or reviews. When I asked my friend a few days later how her story was doing, she told me some woman had written a lot of negative things in her comments and my friend had withdrawn the story.
I was disappointed - well, shocked even - but my friend had a lot going on in her life and was emotionally fragile (and she is one of the strongest people I know) at the time and fortunately she recognizes this and realizes she acted rashly. The two times I've entered contests like this, my stories not only got few votes, but also few comments. A story that draws no reaction from the reader, positive or negative, can easily be considered a poor story.
I recently sent my book to one of my new book review friends on fb and asked her to review it. I had followed her review blog and like her and her reviews. She posted recently that she had finished reading my book and was writing the review and I am terrified! What if the review is negative? I like to think I will react as I do to critiques - learn from it and improve. But I've never had a public review of my work and it's nerve wracking.
Bless fb and my online horse friend Kimber Goodman who posts uplifting, positive and inspirational quotes, always with pictures of horses and often mentioning horses and riding specifically or as a universal metaphor. This morning I found this on on my fb news feed and I think it will give me courage to read the review of my book (which posted on my friends review page yesterday.)
"In order to live a creative life, we have to give up the fear of being wrong."
Because of the phrase "creative life", I feel like this should mention the fear of being judged or of failure or even not just producing our best work. It still got my attention and gave me what I needed to face this new experience. Everyone, especially artists and writers, should share and remember this quote.