Sometimes, my stories are so good--I am sure that they are so good--that I want to lock them in the basement, throttle them occasionally, starve them of food and water, alter the intensity of the lights, force them into stress positions behind the water heater, and generally emotionally abuse them in order to generate a cult of personality around myself. Then, gazing upon my progeny at my whim--from the top of the basement steps--I would fortify my own conception of self. My own ego. Resolute.
But the problem is that my stories aren't children. They can't worship me. They can't grow up into feral cellar monsters that, weirdly, resemble me, that I can bring out at the end of a chain during houseparties. I can't throw cheese at them and expect them to gobble it for a laugh. Then I'd only realize that this sideshow had an audience of one, that I was the one in the basement and there was no one at the top of the stairs, and the cult of personality would dissipate into an assorted series of humors and passions: hungry, tired, horny, fearful. No: I can't inflict emotional abuse upon these stories myself. I have to release them into the wild, have them stomped on by other kids in the playground, have them emotionally abused by others. This is the only way to, one day, point at them, ignore their insecurities and failings, and say: "That's my kid."
I guess it's like they say. If you love it, set it free.
P.S. I'm not really, uh, as creepy as this might make me sound.