When I was nine-years-old, I won a school poetry contest. A friend and I won places to attend a citywide competition. I was so excited and my parents of course were proud.
I mentally prepared for the competition. I spent hours thinking about what I would write. I thought about what would be good enough to win.
By the time we got to the competition, I was sure I would do well. Everybody told me what a good poet I was. I didn’t know what to expect during the competition, yet I was convinced I would win. The day was filled with a series of workshops where we were given instructions for doing what I thought simple writing exercises. I was annoyed and anxious to get to the business of writing a winning poem. I didn’t understand why we were wasting time on warm-up exercises. I put little effort into these sessions. I was saving my creativity for the real event.