Mr. Full-of-Himself, who was a "published" author, taught the class. His credentials included an instructional text used by our university and a few magazine articles. Mr. Full-of-Himself loved to work in the phrase "as a published author" before offering his opinion in class discussions. When we shared our writing, he would rip us apart. He never complimented us - and we had some really talented writers in that class. As a result, self-indulgence and competition dominated our class environment. We ripped each other apart during critique sessions. We rolled our eyes when others spoke. Admittedly, I couldn't take it, I dropped the major, and I stopped writing.
When I eventually started writing again, I did it for me. I hesitated to enter the literary world - blogging, contests, conferences, even querying. However, in the last few months, I've been floored by the encouragement and loveliness from other writers, bloggers, agents, and authors. I never expected such a supportive community. I didn't anticipate rejection and critiquing to push me to do better, instead of make me want to quit. Maybe it's because I'm older or tougher - I really was quite wimpy in my early years. Hell, while I'm
Thank you to the bloggers, authors, writers, agents, editors, and interns for the encouragement and support I didn't see coming. You are all a wonderful group of people I feel lucky to have come across!
Is it just me? Anyone else have any horrible or wonderful writing community experiences? Please say it isn't just me.