Eight years ago I joined a writing program in San Francisco even though I was scared to death to do it. I hadn’t written in the eight years before that and I was terrified to start writing again. I had made small attempts over the years—the beginning of a story here, or a journal entry there—but my writing was so clumsy and forced that I couldn’t read what I’d written without cringing.
I was torn between two extremes. On one hand, I was convinced I was a horrible writer and I had no idea how to go about becoming a great writer, or even a good one. On the other hand, I had never stopped devouring books or dreaming about the book I would one day finish. It got to the point where I actually felt sick inside every time I thought about writing.