Okay, I seriously stepped out of my comfort zone last night. I need that in order to grow. I started a writing class. It's an 8-week workshop with only 8 participants allowed. We meet in a room so tiny that once everyone is seated, going to the bathroom means asking people to move. (Yes, I was the one who had to leave class to use the restroom.)
Our teacher currently has a book on the NY Times Bestseller List entitled If I am Missing or Dead, so I thought this was an incredible opportunity for me to learn about writing. Here is the really scary part involving heart palpitations and sweaty palms. She gives us a prompt. It can be a word or a phrase to inspire or begin our writing; then we write for 20 minutes. The pressure of knowing that I have to write something and it needs to be pretty good because I have to read it to the class in twenty minutes is definitely in the forefront of my mind. She believes this exercise to be quite freeing, and it might be if I can push myself and my expectations out of the way and just allow the words to flow from my pen. That's the other thing. We write with pen and paper. No laptops.
After we read aloud, we positively critique each other's work. I must say I feel a little naked reading my work aloud when I haven't had time to polish it. I have started writing a book, and I am genuinely interested in the feedback from the other writers. I don't think I can finish the project without this workshop.
By the way, there are some excellent writers there. I will definitely stay humble in this class. I don't throw praise around lightly, but my teacher awes me. She can spin an incredible yarn in just twenty minutes (she works alongside us and allows us to give her feedback). I think my mouth dropped open when she read her work because she produced publisher-ready material...in twenty minutes. It seemed so easy for her - like watching Martha Stewart whip up pancakes from Bisquick.
I have so much to learn.