Personal Narrative: Drafts of my Writing Essay

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Failing to mention either the most rewarding or the most distressing aspects of learning to write would be to tell an incomplete story. I have an intimate yet erratic relationship with writing. I am a most ambivalent lover. Stopping to glance at my watch, my fingers still poised above the keyboard, I have smiled, amazed to find that I have been in a state of bliss in which hours have passed without my noticing. I have also flushed and sweated as I stared at my computer screen, reading my own text over and over again, vainly trying to anticipate the criticism I correctly supposed would come.

I love, adore, am devoted to, am crazy about writing. The limitations of words are nowhere more apparent that when I try to describe my pleasure,
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I enjoyed reading it immensely.”

“This paper was as superb as I knew it would be.”

“It is a great joy to read your essays and diaries, Shirlee; you write insightfully and gracefully.”

“This if one of the best papers I’ve gotten in years. I shared it with a colleague of mine.”

“You are one of the smartest students I’ve ever taught.”

Actually, the last quote doesn’t quite fit here, but it remains one of my favorites and I slip it in at every opportunity.

All of this warm and toasty stuff would be a lovely place to leave my story, however, there is more. Layered in warmth though I have been, should the wind blow, should the softest breeze stir, my teeth begin to chatter, my lips turn blue and my hands shake so hard I can’t seem to hold a pen. This is the part I hate, despise, anticipate with anxiety, dread.

In a recent creative writing class, two short stories and a few poems are made bloody, stabbed again and again with an unrelenting red pen, and I am wounded. Fully two-thirds of a sixteen-page short story is slashed. Page after page after page bears diagonal red scars, entire pieces of paper without a single word to redeem them. These are deep wounds; I find myself wondering whether it is possible that they are mortal. While I do not actually keel over, my hands go numb with the cold, seemingly unable to

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