In my 20’s I wrote a short story in my creative writing class at the Humber school for writers in Toronto. The teacher pulled me aside and told me I was special. She said I should keep writing. Keep going. She said she hoped I worked on the story and found a home for it. I was a nervous wreck. I was shy. I had no idea what she meant by special and I was too afraid to ask. That story is in a bin in my cellar.

At the university of Toronto I wrote a short story and my professor put her phone number on the top of my story and asked me to call her to talk about it. I was terrified. I never called her and the story joined the other one in the bin in my cellar.

I loved to write in my 20’s. I was never not writing. What I didn’t do, was put myself out there. I shared just a little, just enough to tell myself I was in the right place, but then I pulled back, back, back. Afraid to fall. Afraid to fail.

My darling writers, if I can tell you anything it’s this. Have courage. Put aside your fear that you aren’t good enough, that your words are for “later”, for some future more professional polished you or for you alone. No! Your words matter so much and they are for right now. Right now!

And if you were once a girl like me and you wonder, can I begin again? Was all that creativity lost and buried with my youth? No, it was not lost and yes, you can begin right where you are. You were born for this and your creativity is ALIVE deep inside just waiting, wanting, longing for you to let it out. It calls to you morning and night, telling you to write, but then the next part requires you to quiet all the voices in your head that say not yet, not now, not me. It requires you to call yourself a writer and to never ever put your words in a bin in the cellar!

Written By: Karen Harrison