friendly encouragement [69]

Every once in a while I dig through my pile of old manuscripts from different stories I’ve written over the years looking for inspiration.  Sometimes, I find myself caught up not necessarily in the story I wrote but more so in the person I was back when the story was written.  It’s funny to me how a writing style changes as the writer changes.  

While I was digging today, I actually found a note that an old roommate and fellow creative writing major wrote to me regarding a compilation of I’d written in high school.  At the time, I was struggling greatly with a course she encouraged me to take because she had loved it so much: Advanced Poetry Creative Writing.  I have always known that poetry is not my strongest point, but at the time it was consuming me.  And the class had me starting to doubt my competence as a prose writer as well.  In fact–I wasn’t exactly an all-star in my fiction/non-fiction classes either.  I usually fell somewhere in the background of the crowd.  My workshops often left me in tears (both in poetry and prose).  The prose workshops seemed to hurt worse, though, because I was technically supposed to be good at prose writing.  I found myself misunderstood so frequently.  Now, looking back, I can sum it all up to the fact that my style of writing just wasn’t the kind of writing my fellow classmates and professor were even remotely interested in which often left me with less than sparkling reviews.  No matter though, it was still detrimental to  my confidence in my work.  And great responsibility of that is due to that one creative writing poetry course I took.  
None-the-less, the note that I found goes on to give me all sorts of encouraging advice and wonderful compliments of my voice and abilities.  And at the time I had to force myself to believe the things my old friend wrote.  It is always nice to hear those things from people who are often so judgmental.  I know I’ve said this before but it can’t hurt to repeat that being a writer is being vulnerable.  And it is easy to get down on yourself.  It’s easy to lose motivation.  I am always in need of constant reminders that I’m not writing to be published.  I am writing to tell a story.  Because if you write with the mindset only to be published–motivation will basically go out of the window because you can spend years working on a piece that ends up on the chopping block floor or no where near publication.  That’s a real easy way to lose drive.
Finding and reading this note is something I needed so desperately right now.  My old friend was so genuine in her encouragement that I can’t help believe the wonderful things she wrote.  But the saddest part of all of this is that this old friend of mine and I are no longer friends.  In fact–we have lost contact completely in a very destroying way.  This just brings me back to my post from last night about how is it that we end up where we are.  It just amazes me to look back on the kind of friendship we had knowing what I know now.  It’s just a reality wake up call.
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About JoElizabeth

I am a writer who loves to explore all different types of relationships. I am most happy when surrounded by my loved ones and furry children. I've never met a stranger, and I talk way too much. My favorite things to do are eat {preferably at a restaurant} with good friends, write, watch DVDs of TV series {especially FRIENDS}, drink lots of coffee and learn.
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