Tonight was a great night at my writer's group. Last time the group critiqued a couple chapters I had written about a year ago when I started working on my mystery novel. There was not a lot of positive feedback. I completely revised it and the critiques tonight were so encouraging. I can't remember anyone ever getting a 100% positive critique from someone, there is always room for improvement, but most of the group had at least one positive thing to say about the new chapter. Whew! As a writer, I have no problem airing my feelings or telling a story about my life, but writing for characters that I have made up is something else entirely. Dialogue tags and backstory, dang. I have so far to go still. And I'm willing to go! I want to go. I just need to make writing a priority and guard my time in a way that I can write every day. Which is why I am here.
Of course, there were a couple, shall we say, jackasses in the group who didn't give good feedback. One in particular is very patronizing and I showed great restraint in not answering certain parts of the critique. I am definitely not a confrontational person, not at all. BUT, I have reached a point in my life where I believe my words are important. My feelings are important. Blending words into feelings is important, blending feelings into words is important. Some people, are simply not worth the words. I let the moment pass when I could have given a rebuttal or explanation to this person. I chose to not say anything and simply looked, disdainfully I hope, in their direction. After a year in this group I know who to listen to and who to ignore. This was someone to ignore.
After my group, I went to Starbucks to meet a friend who I have known since she was in junior high and I was her counselor. I wasn't sure how the conversation would flow since she is in her 20's and I am a very different person than I was 5 years ago. I didn't want to slip into the counseling role with her. I think there is great potential for a real friendship to develop and that is the direction we took. Am I really in my late 30's? I feel so much younger most of the time. I was sitting with her hoping that I wasn't coming off as an older lady trying to be younger because honestly I was just having a good time. Ah,well. Who knows. Maybe I appear as a totally different person than I think I am. I know people like that and I hope I'm not one of them. But I don't think she would have wanted to get together if I was, right?
The highlight of the night, besides the good feedback and great coffee and conversation, was that I arrived 10 minutes early to Starbucks and spent the time looking through a knitting catalog and making notes. Good times!