I recently found a cache of old school reports. The most interesting one was from the village school form teacher I had at 11:
"His creative writings reveal a very vivid imagination. His stories are full of good ideas and phrases but James lacks the self-discipline to develop and shape them for the reader's benefit. His understanding of the main rules of punctuation is good but he does not always apply them to his own work."
Some people still claim my stories are self-indulgent and that shunning the word 'that' isn't a sign of talent. It's weird to think: all the years of education since then and I haven't improved. My goal for 2009 is simple: to summon the self-discipline to finish my novel. I think the punctuation's good enough though.