I have been writing ever since I was about 12. My interest in writing was piqued in elementary, but didn't have any courage to try it myself.
In junior high, I was encouraged to keep a journal. It was at that time that I found the unique thrill a person can have in writing straight from the heart.
Throughout my school career, I was always writing short stories, but just before I would finish them, I would throw them away. I had no confidence at all that others would enjoy reading them, so rather than face the humiliation of having them laugh at my work, I would say that it was no good and throw it away myself.
In High school, I was encouraged by both my English teacher and my Creative Writing teacher to try to get published, but at the time I still did not have any confidence in my own work. It didn't matter WHO read it. In my mind, it was still junk.
It wasn't until college and after that I got the confidence in myself to go after writing exclusively. I finally found the one thing lacking in me. The one thing that was keeping me from my ultimate dream. That one thing that was missing throughout my entire life. Confidence.
Now I know that my writing is not for everybody. People enjoy different things after all. But I do know that if even one person reads my work, and likes it. Then that is enough for me.