I've been writing since high school days. One day my mother found a large stash of my writings and promptly confronted me. (Maybe with her eighth grade education she was not educated enough to find value in them or maybe she was shocked by what I was writing) She threw it all in the trash and burned it! At that point did I really want to be a writer? I quit for several years. But writing is like potato chips. You can't stop with one.
Senior high arrived. I aced Composition getting laudatory remarks on my papers. Then a slight turn into Journalism where I also received plenty of encouragement. The muse had me again. I wrote and wrote saving every piece. A few years later I took a creative writing class at community college, again saving everything. Then,my interests took a bypass and the writings laid around and laid around until one day I said "out you go".
It wasn't three weeks later a friend of mine was in a writing class and by telling me of her assignments, etc. I was excited again, only to mourn that I had dumped all my scribblings. That taught me: NEVER AGAIN. Now I have stuff that goes back ten-twelve years. I have at least a dozen notebooks in which I've jotted down words, situations, story ideas, dialogues, etc. Now as Ire-read it, I think, how simple, I can do better than that. And that, my friend, is GROWTH. Visible growth.
Quit? I've had my husband tell me more than once--why do you bother? I look at all the paper and notebooks I've accumulated. More than once I've thought toss this out, it's too old, or whatever. But, I've learned my lesson. I save it. I go through it and pick out a phrase here, a word there, and use it in something new. I'll never quit again. I'll never toss it all. Writing is born in me. It's my method of communicating to others. It's my job--to please, entertain, frighten, etc.
How about you? Have you started only to stop? Do you save everything you write? Tell me about your experiences.