So, my sister has more or less convinced me to go to this Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference this summer. She's gone for several years and loves it. And I've been feeling the need lately to plug into the more creative side to my brain. It's kind of sad, really--in high school I was very much into creative and expressive writing--I wrote a novella in junior high and a full fledged novel in HS (which I rewrote the summer after I graduated and which was several hundred single spaced pages long). Since then, though, my creative writing efforts have been sporadic. I took a personal essay writing class and a short story class in college, and loved both--and then I became an academician.
I feel strangely conflicted about the idea of getting back to creative writing: what if I'm no good at it? That never bothered me in high school (probably because by high school standards I was reasonably good), but my standards are much higher now and I'm not sure I could bear not meeting them. What if it turns out that the only writing I'm really good at is academic writing? (Although having weathered through a couple of rejections there I'm not entirely sure about that either). I'm also just a little annoyed at becoming a cliche--how many English professors are there who are aspiring writers? A majority, I would think. And, I'm a little intimidated. By what? I'm not exactly sure. Writing 300 pages doesn't daunt me (a dissertation will do that). Possibly this has to do with the fear of failure mentioned earlier. But yes, intimidated by good writers--writers whose skills are vastly superior to mine.
But, I think it will be good for me. I think it will be good for my soul to get back to creative writing; and I think it will be good for me to tackle something that I'm not good at, or very comfortable with. And if all else fails, I can always blame my sister . . .