On a run this morning, I started thinking about the class I'm teaching right now on writing mysteries and thrillers. I will probably teach again in the fall. And I wondered if I should have some kind of an entry process - ask people to submit a sample of their writing before I decided whether to admit them.
Then a memory surfaced. A memory I had buried so deep because it hurt so much. Probably 15 years ago, I asked to join a critique group after they put out the word they had an opening. But it turned out they didn't take just anyone. You had to give them a writing sample. I did. It was something I had labored over. Something I loved. I felt a warm glow when I sent it off.
They said I wasn't good enough. Not only that, but their note made fun of how I handled POV, and pointed out various other mistakes I had made.
I was crushed. Later that year I took a writing class and someone who was part of that critique group was there. I couldn't even make eye contact with them. My face was flaming. I was such a loser.
I'm pretty sure that my early writing probably did have a lot of mistakes.
And I'm pretty sure that none of those people ever got published.