Red Pen Marks and Gum Storage

I’ve always been afraid to write.

Ashamed actually to show what I’ve written in case I was mocked.  I think it started in third grade when we’d have spelling tests, some days they were 50 words in length.  One day I missed spelled seven words and “Bonnie”, the girl who ALWAYS spelled ALL her words correctly ALL of the time, yelled for all the class to hear “you got SEVEN wrong!”

I could have crawled in the corner of the classroom and died a thousand deaths and secretly wished to store my gum in her hair.

Years later I’d cringe whenever the teacher would hand back a paper massacred by red pen.  Taking each mark as a personal insult to my being instead of constructive criticism.  For some reason I’d hear a big booming voice echoing in my ears “you’re WRONG

WRONG

WRONG

WRONG!”

So, I’ve always written in private.  Notebook upon notebook.  Journal upon journal.  Thoughts and stories and wishes.  Sometimes fears and insecurities and nightmares.  All stored away in the back of a closet or the bottom of a trunk.

Until this year.  When I finally started revealing my words.  The patterns and designs they’ve somehow woven on their own without a huge amount of conscious manipulation on my part.  And I’m pretty happy with the bits and pieces I’ve created.  And I’m pretty proud for finally having the courage to start sharing with all of you.

I don’t know when I decided that it doesn’t matter if it’s wrong or right.

What matters is that it “is”.

What I have put off, however, is the NEXT step.  Submitting and fine-tuning and creating opportunity for exposing myself to criticism.  The courage will come soon.  This next year holds the promise of wonderful things to come.

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