If I could sum up last night’s meet up group in one word it would be: Humiliation. I had a serious taste of what it is actually like to be a writer and not whatever glossy happy picture I had concocted in my head. Don’t get me wrong, the writers in the group were all very nice and their feedback was very direct, honest, and helpful. But let me just tell you that reading my first chapter out loud to a group of strangers is easily one of the scariest things I have EVER done. I am sure my voice was shaking and I could tell there was a blush spreading up my neck and through my cheeks. They were very encouraging and supportive but as I read my chapter out loud I couldn’t believe how incredibly bad it sounded. I was confused reading it! I felt embarrassed at my writing. I felt embarrassed that I thought I could actually be a writer. I felt embarrassed for thinking that I had something special to bring to the table. Needless to say after I left the meet up group I was a little down in the gutter. I knew being a writer was hard. I knew you did it for your own pleasure and not for money. I knew all of these things; I am actually a very logical person. Optimistic yes, but not stupid (there is a difference). I have talked to many people in “the biz,” but last night it was clear how far I have to go.
My AKH explained it to me like this. If I wanted to be writer I was going to have to stop talking about it and just do it. (He got tough with me, which I know is very hard for him so it was pretty cute.) Yeah, yeah, yeah I know I talked all about this last week. But seriously for real! Then he said something that made a whole lot of sense to me.
“It’s like you showed up to run a marathon after doing yoga for 6 months.” I know a group of local writers isn’t like walking into a publishing house but I got the gist. I read all the time, I write some of the time but not nearly enough. When I decided I was going to run that ½ marathon last year I changed my lifestyle and trained hard every single day. I don’t know why I thought writing should be any different.
I am always going to sound like I am new to writing if I am new to writing. It’s crazy and naive to think that I will write a book at this rate.
UGH. I am feeling a bit blah right now. I know the result of last night will be life changing but right now it just sucks. The thing that set me apart from everybody at that table last night was they actually write, everyday, rain or shine. No excuses. Just like running.
Time I got my shit together. I am a writer. I will write everyday because it brings me pleasure. Last night is the cold slap of reality that I needed.