Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Writing Wednesdays - My Writing Journey

As I wrote last week, I attended my first meeting for the local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter. I was terrified. 
As I drove over to Bloomington last Wednesday, I left a Voxer message for my friend Karen. In it I explained that I often felt like a fraud as a writer and that I was going to need to share my writing with this group, that they’d critique it. What if they told me it was horrible? Karen quickly messaged me back, reassuring me as well as reminding me that I’d done this before at Choice Literacy writing retreats.

I felt so much better.

I reached the room just before six and quickly met two members who made me laugh out loud numerous times before the meeting even began. Once it did, the first hour flew by with information on what’s going on in the world of romance writing. Friends, there is a lot. I sometimes forget how naive I can be. Suffice to say, there are a lot of unethical folks out there trying to make a dollar or two off of someone else’s hard work.

That’s infuriating.

After catching us all up on the romance world, it was time to share our writing. Out of the eight people present, for a variety of reasons I was the only one with pages to share.

Let’s repeat that so that we can all appreciate my mental state, I was the only one with pages to share.

Now, I completely get why others didn’t have pages for a variety of reasons, but my heart began the thump-thump-thump where I thought it was going to bounce right out of my chest. Holy moly. And then, and then, they shared that one member would read my pages out loud while they all made notes.

Holy. Crap.

In past writing critique groups I’ve been a part of, we split in small groups, read the pages to yourself, make notes, and share your thoughts. Having someone read my work while others marked it up and I sat there listening. Oh. My. God.

And yet, I survived. You know what? It was ok.

The lady that sat next to me kindly laughed out loud at any part remotely funny. The woman reading it was amazing. They all left me great feedback and some wrote me encouraging notes.

It was huge.

The feedback they gave me outloud was valuable, even if I don’t know how to actually implement it yet.

It was an amazing experience.

So yep, I’ve decided to go ahead and join RWA and this local chapter. I will also be attending my first writing conference as a direct result. One of the members has thrown THIS together. If you are in the area and this sounds like something you’d want to attend, let me know! I’d love to meet up.

So, in summary, it was scary as hell, but I’m oh so glad I went. Now, back to writing.

Have a great Wednesday!