Isn't it funny how one word spoken by a stranger can affect us the rest of our lives?
Prime example - I was in elementary school and our teacher announced our class would be part of a writing contest. We were all given bounded white books and told to write a story and design our own cover. I was thrilled. I had the best story ever (according to me). It was about a little girl who rescued a kitten from a field where its mother had been stomped to death by a horse. The kitten had a really long tail and large ears. All the other kids made fun of the girl's kitten because of its looks, but she loved it with all her heart. (I did mention this was elementary school, right?) Eventually the kitten grew into a beautiful cat and all the other kids felt bad they had ever made fun of it.
My teacher's evaluation of my story was summed up in one word - morbid. Yep, she actually said that to me. To my young mind that equalled horrible. I think my self-esteem took a severe blow that day. I can't even remember that woman's name, but I remember the look on her face and what she said. Every time I write something to submit, I worry that someone is wrinkling their nose up in distaste on the other side.
Worries aside, I am still writing and submitting.