Discovering a Sense of Authenticity: Creative Injuries

I think that I do? grieve creative injuries. While I know I’ve sustained a few, I’m not sure which ones truly stick out in my mind.

These aren’t new injuries. I’ve mentioned them before.

1. MW referring to my “stupid poems.” This was a nasty message my sister took great delight in delivering.

2. The glass box poem – again, my sister was enjoying being nasty. Notably she’s rarely written anything more solid than fanfiction, so while obviously motivated by jealousy, she was out to cripple me creatively.

3.  The clearly thought-out analysis of the Monk I wrote for lit class that got a C and some nasty comments from the really snotty professor. It said everything when I began just rehashing what the Cliff’s notes said and got an A. I dropped the class after that discovery.

4. The nasty comments I received back on a piece written IN CLASS for practice that was clearly a first draft. My nonfiction professor had a good eye, but totally unrealistic expectations of what to turn out on a first draft.

5. The picking apart my fiction story received.

6. I wasn’t particularly injured, but the girl who had a tantrum over me using Greek myth references in a poem did wake me up to the realization that people wanted to hurt me creatively.

7. The rejection of the pagan student guide I wrote circa 1998. I got a lot of “great, send me a full manuscript!” responses, none of which told me what a “full” manuscript was. Back at that time, that information wasn’t accessible online and my professors weren’t forthcoming, either.

8. My mother asking me to not send in the story I wrote about MM’s death. She thought I was “too young” to be dealing with such things. This was bullshit – I was grieving my friend, and needed to talk about it somewhere since she wouldn’t let me. To my credit, I sent it in anyway. She deserved to look bad. *

*I should write it again, and see if a place will pick it up now.

9. The story I wrote about what I thought college was like in 2nd grade, where my mother made a face and said “You should write about what you know.”

10. My 10th grade English teacher using my paragraph as an example of “poor” writing before he even bothered to introduce us to the format he wanted us to write in. Also had a tantrum when I interviewed a living composer for a project – Douchebag, thou teacheth.

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