I remember waayyyyyyy back in the “olden days !”, I was about 10. One of my classes — did we have an English class at that age ?? Whichever it was, one assignment was to write a short story, X amount of pages, etc. So sitting in bed one night, for privacy in a room shared with my sister four years older, I got comfy with my pillows behind me and one as my desk with my spiral notebook. We had a week to get the project done. So I sat there till I got sleepy and just scribbled different things I could write about. I remember it took a few days before an idea hit me. Well I loved horses, so there would be a horse. Then instead of making a character a girl, afraid someone would think I was pretending it was me, I make it a young boy. For some reason he was living in the woods by himself and one night while sitting by a fire alone and cooking hotdogs on a stick, he is frightened by some odd noises in woods in the dark. Oooooo spooky! The horse eventually comes out to meet him, also alone, and becomes his friend. I cant remember all the details now, but the story just flowed from my head through my pen! I discovered the JOY of writing and creating!!! I was so proud of that story and that it had an ending!
I don’t know why, but I asked my sister to read it to see if it was “ok” to turn in. Well, she loved it and said it was great! I was so excited and nervous and a few days later turned it in for grading. Several days later, the teacher walks up and down between the desks returning everyone’s papers. I picked up mine and see the grade of a B+. Well, what the hell is this?? I really expected an A- at least!! Then I see several words through the pages circled in red pen and comments. They were all about not using a proper “preposition” or some shit! And in a few spots, she felt I should’ve used semicolons ( ; ) instead of commas ( , ). Well you bitch!!! That comment on the front page of “Good story idea!” didn’t mean shit to me once I saw the circled words and comments. A red pen can crush hopes and dreams. I still remember that feeling __________years later. HAHA
When I used to always write rough draft in notebooks, when re-reading I would still make notes of what to add or drop or change in red so I wouldn’t forget. Even now over the years, I tend to work more on the laptop, while it’s easier to go back while reading to add in something or remove. But printing the pages out are usually easier — and then there comes that damn red pen again! As writers and artists in different mediums, we do what we love. For me, I want people to enjoy whatever I do, yet there is always that fear of a “red pen” correction, or rejection because it isn’t one person’s cup of tea. And in reality, all artists of whatever their chosen field , are creating because it makes their hearts sing and souls soar ! 🙂