It’s astonishing for me to look back at some of my old work and realize that I actually had people read this. That people actually commented and told me to continue. Because looking at my writing back then right now, I can honestly say it was crud.
But nobody told me that. They said “You’re still learning.” But they took it seriously and they told me to keep going, to keep learning.
Somehow they were able to look past the plot holes, the weak and shallow characters, the grammatical errors, and see a heart that wanted to be made known. I wore my heart on my sleeve, thought I knew a lot, and miraculously, I was protected. No one told me I was awful. I got critiqued yes, but what I heard a lot of in the beginning was, “I’m glad you’re writing. You’re good for your age. Keep writing and don’t stop.”
And I thought I knew so much. I sent my first novel to a lot of people, not all of them read it (don’t blame ’em, either.). I was proud, and I cringe now at the pride I had in work that was still developing.
Now? I’m much more cautious with my novels, I don’t let many people read them. Because I want my friends and family to have my best, after they read my worst and told me to continue.
So, in a sense, this blog is a love letter. This is my writing, laid bare for those who read my worst. This blog is a compromise. “You can’t read my novels yet, but here’s a piece of my heart.”. This blog is me sharing my thoughts and my writing with those people who refused to give up on me then, and now, because I’m still learning. Because I have learned so much. Because I will learn so much in the future.
This blog is me reaching out to people like me, to try and be that person that so many people were to me when I first started. An eleven year old who didn’t know what to do with her heart, so she wrote it on a word document.
Two years later, and I know a little more, I can write a whole lot better, but I’m still learning and those people are still telling me, “Keeping writing. Good job. You’re amazing. We love you.”
So when I look at this blog and can’t stand the thought of writing another post, for fear I will look back and cringe, when I don’t want to write another page on my novels because I don’t know enough yet, when I can’t stand to write poems, I hear this.
Keep writing. Keep writing and don’t look back. Keep writing and don’t give up. We believe you can do it. So prove us right, and make us proud.
Keep writing, Ruby.
I sigh and turn back to my word documents, because I never could say no to that voice. So I write. I write another chapter, a blog post, a poem. And it might just be my imagination, but I can feel them smile. And I look at what I wrote, and I can truly say.
“This is good.”