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!