We started up Shine because we wanted somewhere where we could express ourselves, develop our creativity and grow in confidence. We love the Glow forums but we thought it would be cool to have somewhere more specific just for our writing and creative things, and hence, Shine was born.

Shine is all about encouraging one another and promoting creativity and creating and confidence. It's hard to share your work with other people, and we want you to be able to. 

A little bit about why I think this is so important: I was, and still am that really shy kid in your class who doesn't say anything and doesn't really talk. I'm much better now, and will more happily speak up and to strangers and in groups, but I used to wish the floor would just swallow me up most of the time, ignore the cliche, but it was true. I still get that sometimes, but not so much. 

I'm still reluncant to share my writing and other creative stuff with anyone, and it is only through doing Creative Writing classes and workshops that I have, and still am developing my confidence in sharing my writing. I still find it hard when people ask to see it, and I guess that is true of any writer or creative person, partly because what you create feels like so much a part of you and so precious you can't bear to let anyone else have it and read it and see it differently.  

But as someone who writes things and creates things, I guess you have to learn to let go and view what you have created less subjectively. My Poetry teacher at the start of this term when giving us some tips and guidelines about sharing work in class told us to just see what we are reading out as words on the page, and nothing more. Really it means nothing and there is no need to apologise for what you have done. That I found really helpful, and it has certainly helped me over this term to see things more objectively and have more confidence in sharing my work. 

Confidence comes with time. At school I never really let on to anyone that I wrote, and certainly didn't share any work, although it was always my thing, and it upset me when the more confident and talkative people boasted about their own writing. My shyness and lack of self confidence prevented me from doing so. I'm not saying you should boast about your work or anything, just that it is no good just hiding away all the time. Gaining confidence to show people your work takes time, and we wanted to create here a safe place for you to do so and get feedback from others in the same position. 

 Shine is for you guys, so let us know what you want to see and what you want. Who else struggles with confidence?

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