Last night I stepped out of my comfort zone and took off my super soft yoga pants and put on real pants to go to a real writing critique group. With real people and everything! I don't know for sure what I was expecting, but for some reason I think it went better than my expectation.
For starters, I think that I am pretty good with meeting new people. However, it is usually a terrifying experience for me. I get very flustered very easily and I will revert back into myself. When I'm around people I know I need to be the center of attention. But I will take the time to sit back and get to know the group first. That's just the way I am, I like to think it's progress that I can at least admit that much about myself.
So when I came in 15 minutes late (I could kill that terrible waitress), I expected to come into a huge group of 15 people looking at me like I had interrupted a C-section. Instead I found four people sitting around computers who welcomed me in. They weren't overly talkative except for their work. That was the aspect that surprised me the most. When the group finished half an hour before the two hours was up I expected they would sit around and chat a little, but instead everybody picked up and left. Part of it is just that I'm such a natural chatterbox that it's my natural state, but I was so excited to be around people who got it that I just wanted to talk their ears off. I badger my husband with all of it and I have shared my story with a choice few, but it's not the same as someone who truly gets it. The love and passion that a writer feels for their work, it's unexplainable to those who haven't poured months into their baby. So for the first time since I started this journey, I was going to get to sit in a room of people who get it.
And they do. This group is dedicated to getting your piece into shape that it's a publishable place. So at least I feel like I'm in good hands. And they are smart and quick and their writing skills and critiques are so spot on. At this point the biggest concern I have is that my writing is not quite up to par. It was one thing that I thought I did well, my grammar was usually correct and I am pretty good at catching any misspellings. The more I read though on the craft of writing, the more concerned I become that my writing isn't good enough. Not by a long shot. But that's why I'm going, that's why you have to put yourself out there. And next Thursday chapter 1 of HB is going to be critiqued by the group and I guess I'll find out how much work I will really have to do on my technical writing before this is even close to publishable. But now at least I don't have to do it alone.