November 16, 2015

A Repressed Writing Memory by Loretta Bouillon

This month’s prompt was to write about a memory connected to your writing journey. I contemplated for a while, trying to remember when I first started writing. In previous posts, I have talked about keeping a diary when I was a young girl and writing stories in my grandma’s kitchen. Then I remembered something I have not thought about for many years.

I entered a story-writing contest in school. I don’t remember what grade I was in, or what the story was even about, but I remember writing a story to enter into a contest (city wide or country wide, I really don’t know). I remember going to the Kitchener Public Library to write the story to feel more like a “real” writer. Not really sure where “real” writers did their writing, I suppose I felt it was the best place to be inspired.

Once it was written, I needed to have the piece typed. At that time in my life I could not type. I decided to ask my Aunt Lee if she would type it for me (on a manual typewriter!) She was the secretary for our school library and I saw her typing stuff all the time. I am not sure what she really thought but she very kindly agreed to type up my story.

Weeks must have passed and I never heard back from the contest. When I think back on the experience now, I think I must have felt a certain level of rejection. I remember taking the bus several times across the city, to the library and pouring my heart and soul into the project.

It was years…..many….before I seriously wrote again. I kept journals all my life and I wrote what I needed to for school, but I never entered another contest until much later in life. It’s interesting that it took this prompt to remember this experience.

Over the years, I have been learning to accept rejection and criticism when it comes to my writing. If I gave up after every rejection then I most certainly would not be writing anymore. Logically, I see it as a valuable tool if there is feedback attached to the rejection letter. It can help me grow as a writer if I don’t take it personally. Also, not everyone is going to like what I write… and that’s okay.

The really neat thing about this post, is that it prompted me to contact my aunt who painstakingly typed up my story. Forty years later I finally thanked her properly! 


  1. Thanks for sharing this memory. When you spoke about rejection you wrote: It can help me grow as a writer if I don’t take it personally. Therein lies the dilemma, I think, because our writing usually comes out of who we are, it is very easy to take it personally. It is a good challenge to separate our writing from ourselves. Was your aunt surprised to hear from you?

  2. It is always interesting to read about what prompts repressed memories to come to the surface. I like your perspective on rejection and criticism. And thanks for sharing your memory with us.

  3. The pain of rejection and the fragility of a writer is one we need to keep in mind when we support and encourage our fellow writers. As Christians, we have the best fall-back ever, though. We write for Jesus! If anyone else wants to get something out of it, that's great. But it's not necessary for us to know we've pleased our Lord.

  4. "It's interesting that it took this prompt to remember this experience." I love how God keeps all our minutes. You forgot, but He never did. He still loves the tender little girl who dreamed of being a writer. Now, like with Joseph, He's reminding you of your dreams - as he begins to make them come true.

    1. Lorrie,yay! It's so good to see you here! What a lovely comment. Thank you for that :)

  5. I like how you tell your experience of dedicating your time, energy, and creativity into this project. Your saying, "I remember taking the bus several times across the city, to the library and pouring my heart and soul into the project," touched me. Waiting for feedback that never comes is tough. I take that as a reminder to each of us to be encouraging to younger or less experienced writers and to offer support and feedback, when asked, to our fellow writers as well. We also need to remember to be gentle with ourselves in the face of rejection. We take what we can learn from criticism or rejection and look for the lessons we can learn from the experience. Take the good and leave the rest.


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