Writing Community

Thursday 21 February 2008

Tonight was my first writers' group since August. These are long, rather boozy affairs - I drank water this time - that go on for between three to four hours :) Heavy duty stuff. I read the last piece of fiction I wrote all the way back in May and was tickled pink with the reception I got. It's amazing how much creative people need validation that what they're doing is good. It's a weird feeling, because inside I know that I am a good writer. I also don't know at all that I'm a good writer. Which makes no sense but there you have it.

Uni returns next week. I am only doing one subject again. I'm sure I could take on two, but I like the pace of only doing a subject a semester. This one is a combined Literary Studies/Professional Writing subject called Writing Selves, which "examines issues of the text as autobiography. Examples will be drawn not only from work traditionally classified as autobiography, but also from diaries, letters, 'fictional' biography, journalism and ephemera. Issues of privacy and publication, and the role of editors, will be discussed. Some contemporary theorising of the writing subject will be examined. Gender, race and ethnicity will be a continuing focus."

I have been dosing up on some new stuff that I think is helping me get my health back on track. I'm feeling more energy, feeling over the past few days that my glands aren't standing up like golf balls on the side of my neck - which has basically been their position for the last several months. It feels so good to have extra energy so that I can look with pleasure to these two outward creative things which will give me a bit of structure. I think I subscribe to the romantic idea that I should be able to entirely set my own structure with no outside interference. Which is quite ridiculous when I consider how much I get off on the interaction of being with other writers, talking about processes, critiquing others' work - I feel so inspired after being back after all this time away. Writing is a lonely enough practice; sharing it with others is a necessity for me.

It's been so long since I was last there; it felt a bit weird at the beginning. I felt kinda shy. But I soon got into it and by the time I left I had the lovely warm feeling of community, pleased that I am finally at the stage again where going isn't a pointless enterprise because (a) I'm sick or (b) I'm not writing anything anyway. I feel, suddenly, like writing a small piece of fiction isn't beyond me. It's all coming back to me. Oooh, oooh :)

I typed some strange words into Gooogle before: "fear of success". I am so much more aware of my blocks now and the things I use to try to get myself away from the scary and hard and scary and scary work of writing. I have never considered fear of success to be something I grapple with, but the possibility is slowly dawning on me that maybe it is so. I'm just reading an article that's telling me to sit for 15-30 minutes and think of all of the things that will happen and how my life will change if I achieve my goals, to try to determine what it is I am scared of ... I really don't have the foggiest idea what would be. It's amazing how many of our fears sit underneath our waters like giant icebergs, isn't it? And it's amazing how they pop their noses up when we're ready to look at them. Time to do some (more) soul-searching.

This week is the last of my Artist's Way course. It's been 12 weeks and I am so glad I have done this. I feel like I have gained a much safer place to write in. It's been a real buzz.

Much safer - but still scary ;) But hey, so is much of the good stuff.


  1. What an amazing picture! Did you create it?
    I've long wanted to find a writing group to join, but I'm also fearful of doing so. I so relate to your "fear of success" comments ... in fact they're actually what made me stop to write something here. (FYI … I often "lurk" … following you in Google Reader w/o commenting … feeling I have anything to add to the conversation here ... a measure of my own insecurity I suppose).

    I've watched Lucy's creativity blossom at Lucy Creates in taking the collage class and now I read of your Artist's Way course. I'm such a solitary person these days ... reading for inspiration ... and, of course, blogging finally. You've got me thinking I need to get out there in the real world more ... so thanks for the nudge!
    Hugs and blessings,

  2. WRITE ON! "Follow Your Bliss!"

  3. I really ought to take some writing classes, if only just for fun. You've inspired me and now I'm going to look into it.

  4. Hey, Storyteller! I was just thinking about you yesterday, reading your comments over on Dream's blog and thinking, "Hmm, Im gonna go visit ST's blog and say hi" - and you beat me to it!! :) Thanks for dropping in. The fear of success thing is so weird, because to face those fears you have to admit that the words you put together one after another are good enough to be published ... it's taken me a long time to start inspecting this fear. It makes sense, though. I think one of the things that scares me the most is that I would start feeling like a cog in a wheel, expected to produce, produce, produce, you know?

    No, that pic is by someone else. I would love to say it's mine. Click on the link and it'll take you to the pic at DeviantArt.

    Dream - thank you, darling :) Why does my bliss have to be so scary?

    Erin - cool. There's so much energy that comes off being with other writers. It's like having writing prompts in human form :)

  5. this feels like an amazingly healthy woman posting this entry! i love the sound of your class and envy your writing group, too. i have tried a couple but still haven't found the right fit.

    bliss and fear seem to go hand in hand...how weird is that?

  6. Lucy - amazingly healthy - definitely not, either physically or mentally :) I wouldn't say I'm ill either, just some quirks and chinks in my chains, you know? But then, you wouldn't want to be TOO 'normal', would you? I like being a bit weird, you know?

    Yeah, that bliss and fear thing - it is weird. It's also a bit annoying, too.


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