I've kept a folder for every creative writing class I ever took. They each contain the notes I took as well as the writing exercises.
* From a class I took on novel writing from Judith Guest and Rebecca Hill, "You want to start and finish a novel while you're the same person".Wow, that is such great advice! Too bad I didn't keep it in mind. I began a post-apocalyptic novel back in 1996 about a St Paul woman trying to survive after a plague has nearly wiped out civilization. Over the years, as times have changed, and I have changed, the novel has become so different from my original concept that I feel like I've betrayed both my protagonist and myself.
Worst of all is the recent spate of books and movies that mirror my vision. Every time I read one of them and find one of my oh-so-creative ideas used, it's a kick in the stomach and another bruise to my confidence. I couldn't even finish Carla Buckley's The Things that Keep us Here. Next week, the movie Contagion (about a bird flu epidemic) will open in theaters. Well, at least it won't be as dark as The Road or Book of Eli.