For a number of reasons that I can’t really talk about, I can’t really write about anything I actually want to talk about. All I will say is that it’s a very mixed blessing to realize that you are not even close to being in the right place, so more when I figure that out.
Last night I got my feedback from the workshop of my first chapter and it was simultaneously the best and worst thing I’ve ever been through since I lost my mind and decided I wanted to be a writer. If you don’t know what it means to “workshop” something, it’s where actual writers read something you have cut yourself open and bled out, and then give you feedback. It is where they can ask you questions about why you wrote something or what you meant about something and they can tell you that you are a genius or they can tell you that you should maybe look into court reporting.
It was really great. Turns out I’m not a genius, but the feedback was good, everyone was unbelievably supportive and kind and thoughtful and honest, and it was great. Each piece I was worried or uncomfortable about came up right away, which is sort of great so I didn’t have to wait around for it, and people offered helpful suggestions and we talked it through. The only real rule is that you are not allowed to “defend” your piece – people can ask questions, you can answer them, and at the end of the day you can obviously do what you want with the feedback. There was very little that I didn’t think was helpful – almost nothing really, so I’m very happy with it. I guess I have no more excuses to not just finish the damn thing.