Last night was my first real critique, man it was good. Not good in the sense that I was praised for being such a great writer but good in the sense that I know where I stand. For a long time I couldn’t take any kind of criticism about any thing because my self-esteem was linked to other people’s opinion. Through a lot of self work and visioning and I was able to prep myself for what I knew was coming.
It was amazing to watch myself listen to their comments and not crumble, cry or swear never to write again. I know this may sound very over dramatic to some of you out there but it is hard to describe to a healthy person how crushing negative self-image can be. It spans every thing from: I just don’t accept compliments ever to, I’m not worth anything unless “you” say so. For those of us who struggle with these issues it is a huge achievement to say “I am good enough and this person’s thought about “X” does not define me.
After the crit the writing group went out to dinner. I was a little shaky from the left over adrenalin and lack of food (good thing I had a chi tea instead of coffee). Dinner conversation was good but rapid. I think my head was still spinning. I got home around mid night after turning around twice on the high way. I couldn’t sleep for a while, too geared up on all the thoughts in my head.
I woke up this morning at 6 am thinking about all the things that I want to do to make my work better. That in itself makes last night a success.
P.S This group is an amazing compilation of publish authors, editors and writers all in the speculative fiction (fantasy, horror and sci-fi) genera.