Holding Back

An excerpt from my private journal, from yesterday:

When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a writer. Through grade school and middle school I wrote many stories and non-fiction essays. Always I received high grades and encouraging comments from my teachers.

In high school I all but gave up writing for two reasons. First, I had a few friends who also wanted to be writers and they seemed so much more serious and talented them me. I was very intimidated. Second, I once wrote a story for an assignment and let a friend, Cave, read it. He got very upset because he said it was similar to a short story in a book he had leant me several months earlier. I had no recollection of the story, but was horribly embarrassed. I guess this started me doubting whether I could come up with anything original.

So high school taught me that I wasn’t serious or creative enough to be a writer. I think I still carry these thoughts around with me. I am letting events and feelings from ten years ago still rule my life. Why? I have no contact with these people any more.

In picking up a pen again, doing writing exercises and trying to write my book, I have run into these feelings full force. I am again questioning if I am creative or serious enough to pull this off. But I am also, slowly, learning that it doesn’t matter what other people think at this point. Right now I just need to get my words and ideas down.

You know… looking back on it I had a high school English teacher who wanted me to take English in university because she thought I had talent. She was sure I would write a book one day. And, strangely enough, she didn’t encourage my other “writer” friends like that. Did I just waste many years being afraid of nothing?

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