There was a time when I stopped writing.

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For good.

Or at least, for about seven years. Which felt like “for good” at the time. The hiatus started around 2003, when I was about 16 and caught in a toxic friendship with someone who was extremely hurtful towards me, mainly about my writing.

Before that point, I LOVED telling stories. Growing up, I was that kid frantically scribbling stories at every possible moment, whose mind brimmed with people and places and plots. But soon writing devolved into an exercise in dread, because anything this person didn’t like was lashed to bits.

I was manipulated into believing I was an awful, horrible, no-good writer. So at 16, I stopped.

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