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 brother 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, as I kinda knew them a bit , with a neighbor having a pinto and buckskin on their property. So there would be a horse. I made the main character a young boy, of course thinking everyone would think I was pretending it was me. Oh, how we would stress about the littlest things even in English class ! For some reason this main character, a young boy, not me! , was living in the woods by himself and one night while sitting by a fire alone and cooking hotdogs on a stick, he becomes 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 can’t 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 brother to read it to see if it was “ok” to turn in. Well, he loved it and said it was great! I was so excited and nervous and a few days later turned it in for grading. Later in the week, 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 forty-plus years later. lol. Yet that is what all creative people fear, the “red pen” — whether written or spoken opinion of even one person to make you feel you’re not good enough ………
When I used to always write a 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 usually now 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 ! 🙂
former fbi, writer, breed showdogs, I have a very busy life of go go go. Yet also have many days of spinning in circles and getting nothing done. I call those my down days of relaxing. I travel a lot in motorhome on business and with dogs.
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