I have taken the time to write more now than ever, partly thanks to Red Rooms blog "assignment" emails. As I read the last email questioning when I knew I wanted to write, I reflected on what kept me from writing and attempting to get published. I just felt like sharing here on Red Room.
I wrote for fun and school assignments since Kindergarten. I have the old school papers to prove it. When I was in high school, I had a particularly great English teacher who had us write a lot and create projects. For a final assignment, we had to write a story which would receive 2 grades. Her grade would be a daily grade and a peer review would be a TEST grade. I wrote what I thought to be was a fantastic science fiction piece that was part Mars exploration meets Rocky Horror Picture show (think man-eating plants). So our teacher discusses some surprising differences in how she graded versus how students graded. I received an A from the teacher on my story, but my peer review (which was done by one of the journalism photographers/rich kids/ guy who reads the New York Times in class), gave me a D.
Unfortunately the grades stuck. I got a D as a test grade. Funny how over 20 years later that still bothers me. It shattered my confidence that people would like what I had written. It's probably wrong that I allow one event to keep me from doing what I love, but it happens to a lot of people, I'm guessing.
Later, while earning my undergrad at the local university, I wrote a short piece in my freshman English class that was written impromptu and had to be read aloud. It was an embellished piece about getting my first dog. After I read it, someone in the class said, "I don't want to follow that." That was followed by some giggles and moans. I assumed they thought it was good, but I was hard on my self (again).
Well, enough excuses, back to writing. Maybe I just need to set a deadline for myself. Time to enter a contest or something!