Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Accountability

From my Google Hangout log, it would appear I don't switch up my company a lot. Also, I guess you have to wear turquoise to be in my writing group?

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Man. Science. Thank goodness for 2014, because technology is saving me by keeping me connected. Not everything about my life is beans right now (yep, still trying to make beans happen...) but one thing that I enjoy wholeheartedly is my tiny writing group with these ladies. We chat online using Google Hangout once every other week. On the off weeks, one of us sends pages. That works out to each of us sending pages every six weeks. How cool is it that I can have a writers' group in my house in my sweat pants? It's amazing, is all I'm saying. We've been doing this since about January and I already find myself wondering how many days it is to the next one all the time.

I'm pretty busy with reviewing and, you know, m'full time job, but this is great for the other aspects of my writing. Having a writing group makes me stop to make time to write short fiction, too, so I'll have something to share when it's my turn. The six week deadline doesn't sneak up on me too soon, and so far I've been able to fit it right into my insane schedule of responsibilities.

Today my work was on the table, which still makes me just a tad nervous. Even though I knew I was in good hands with these ladies, I sat down at my computer in the minutes before and triple checked that I had paper, a pen, a copy of my story... I suppose I was looking for security in having the right office supplies. (I'm still working at my card table in the corner. Loving the space; hating how much it shakes.)

It was so good.

I had them read a story today that was probably the most personal thing I've ever written. It was fiction, but the kind of fiction that my friend Jenn-Anne says has the heat of truth underneath it. The kind that I can probably never send out to get published, honestly. But the kind that I had to write. And pushing myself to get things on the page that I'd never say or that I never would have allowed myself the freedom to write even a couple of years ago made my work better. I could feel it.

No, I'm not sharing it here. I'm sorry. And I mean it about not submitting it. But I have the kind of job where I just have to know that there's a line, and some things can't be out in the world.

But as much as it challenged me to write with complete honesty, today's workshop pushed me to be ten times better. I've known for weeks that I found my people (heck, I think I've known what kind of people these ladies were to me since early on in my MFA program), but being in a group that's such a good fit feels like it will push me to continue to stretch myself. Today I really felt that in practice. And I was reminded of dancing with other, better dancers, or creating curriculum with other, better teachers. The back and forth of a good group of people who want to help you improve and create your best work is invigorating. I lurve that.

Also, I don't mind hearing Faye pronounce the word dawg in her New York accent.

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