Hello, My name's Regan and everytime I start a post with my name I feel like I'm attending some self-help group. And maybe I am, cos writing is a pretty awful hobby to have. You slave and you obsess over one word in a sentence. Punctuation gives you nightmares. Email becomes a linguistic battleground. You can't sleep for thinking of what should happen next. You thirst for new material to devour. Where's my next Self, Philip K. Dick, Mansfield, Du Maurier! You worry over losing that 'style' you hit on which just seems perfect! As if it's a shadow just passing over the wall of your mind, you fear it will have slipped away by the time you next take to your writing desk... ....Or is that all just me? Well I always was a bit of an obsessive type. But seriously, I really do love-hate creative writing and words and language in general. I've always loved reading and I started writing my own stories almost as soon as I started writing (according to my mother...I don't personally remember) Due to being overly self-critical though - and not receiving the parental praise I felt I was due - none of my early creations survive, and for a long time I buried my desire to write. Then over the past year (I'm not quite sure what set it off), the desire unearthed itself again and I am now more dedicated than I ever was before. I'll admit that I used to think that perfection would flow from my pen without effort, and that people would shower me with endless praise... I know better now. I've been humbled. I now see that writing, to a large degree, is a thankless and lonely venture, involving much self-criticism and mental chit-chats with long dead authors. You need to love it for itself and be willing to edit over and over again...and then again. (That's just my experience of course!) And I'm trying to address the 'lonely' part by joining this forum. I'd really love to hear some objective criticism on my writing and I also want to read other people's work, too. Well, after that somewhat long-winded introduction to my fraying brain...nice to meet you all!