I fully remember when I became self-conscious about my writing. In my sixth grade language arts class, I had penned a murder mystery short. My heroine’s pet bunny was murdered and left for dead…in a bloody heap on her doorstep.
There was mayhem! A rival with a motive! A quasi-love interest who was just as distraught about the dog as the heroine! In the end, the culprit was the neighbor’s rabid dog who was later put down and the story ended with her getting a new pet….a puppy.
Now 11 year old me didn’t think about things like logic — I went with a puppy because I liked dogs more than cats. Upon reading this story, my teacher praised it and encouraged me to layer in more details and string out the tension.
My mother and my sister….both laughed. Not the ha-ha-ha, I love this laughter of joy, but a OMG-cant-stop-chuckle of derision. With a single read through they had both pinpointed the issue with the puppy and brought it to light.
Neither of them knew at the time that they had made a huge impact on my creative works. I no longer had the same freedom, the same confidence in my words.
Though they enjoyed subsequent works, though I later earned a writing recognition in front of the entire school, though I continued to write fiction in secret, I could never recapture that same level of I Am Awesome.
Now it’s something I re-learn every time I write a book. I give myself permission to just write, and let myself know that it’s okay if I don’t get it right the first time — that’s what CPs are for and edits. By the same token, I can admit that some of what I write has merit as is.
It’s a delicate balance and one I wish I didn’t have to navigate. But it’s the only way to get the job done: Write Like No One is Reading.
Who wants you to be freeeeeee! If you want to hear more of Sasha’s ramblings, visit her at http://www.sashadevlin.com or follow her on Twitter @SashaDevlin. You can also peep her pins on Pinterest here