Stories are odd like that. They begin as an idea in an author's mind. A passing thought. A brief moment of intrigue. That fleeting bit of contemplation, when acted upon and taken up, becomes an invitation to a writer to open themselves up and pour themselves out onto a page. So often our own vulnerabilities and crushing insecurities flavor the words we use, making the tales inherently personal, a potent weapon we hand over to the public, knowing at times it will be turned back on us.
Writers are often told we need a thicker skin or the ability to not feel the pain of a stinging criticism. But feeling is part of what we do. Because our skins aren't thick, no matter how desperately we pretend otherwise, we have that all-important reservoir of emotions, experiences, empathy, and insights into what it means to be a person walking around in an often cruel world. We create stories from places of vulnerability, then invite others to pick them apart, and from the discomfort and misery of that criticism, craft new ones.