As a writer, I put a piece of myself into most of the characters I create. A few are creations based on amalgams from people I’ve known, but my heroes and heroines often reflect an aspect of myself. Listening to the commentary of fellow writers, be they professional, aspiring, or hobbyists, this is a significant factor in the submission/rejection/acceptance trauma. Each time you put a story out there, you place a piece of yourself into the hands of a faceless stranger for judging. Even for accomplished writers, a permutation of this fear often continues.
Ironically, as I’ve grown more confident in my skills as a writer, I find it easier to brave the revolving door of submissions and rejections. They don’t know me. They see a story and I’ve come to realize that if I’ve done my job well, the characters will speak to their life experiences, not mine. It’s the opinions of my friends and family that I dread hearing. I’m fine with them not approving of the material or the genre not appealing to their tastes. I see reflections of myself and wonder if anyone else will see what I see. Then I realize that it is a house of mirrors. They see the world I’ve created, the story I’ve crafted. The pieces of me are reflected and layered with fiction, so that at the end of the day I can play in my psyche and breathe life into fantastical characters. It is a unique and marvelous freedom that accompanies writing. We set out to create stories and discover ourselves in the process.