Shann, you make some good points. Although I'm sorry you felt that way about your story, which I am sure was not true. It is almost impossible for any artist, including writers, to be able to judge their own work. I can't tell you how many times I've written something I thought was rubbish but others raved over, and vice-versa. I think the more we write, though, the better we become at being able to determine whether it's really "good" or not - but never with complete certainty. Stephen King, for a time, wrote under an alias for several reasons - one of them being because he wanted to determine if his books were so popular because they were actually good or because of his name. One of those books was the "The Running Man." Can you imagine writing a story like that and not knowing if it were good or not? I do know how you feel, but would encourage you and anyone else who feels this way to not worry about measuring up, because you may never know unless you take the risk.
I don't know how Mike would feel about keeping the articles private until reveal, I can see pros and cons with both. Maybe he will see this thread and weigh in. Thanks for your thoughts
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious. - Author Unknown