July 5, 2008 § 2 Comments
Back in New York and it’s sinking in that almost everything is beginning and ending right now: jobs, relationships, school. I don’t remember the last time, if ever, that I was nervous about returning home.
This week I’m developing a new writing schedule and I’m going to try to form a small writing group. The bigger goal is to learn to enjoy the writing process/to stop being so hard on myself.
My first semester in grad school, Michael said that he worries that my self-criticism could become immobilizing. I used to joke about how much of a circular problem this is: finding a proportionate amount of criticism to criticize myself (or being self-critical of my self-criticism). But he’s right. This criticism applies to my writing life, but also to the rest of my life.
Jen H. inspired me. She believes that we can change the stories that we tell ourselves that reinforce the idea that good work only comes from an internal, relentless, and often, unforgiving critic.
As nervous as I was, when I read my work out loud at graduation I realized that I like having an audience and a readership. Until now, I have been incredibly private about my writing.
After the reading, I spoke to people who only knew me through the excerpt of my story that they had just listened to me read. I loved the feeling of closeness to strangers. Two of my mentors have told me that my stories are usually about characters losing/gaining power, but also about finding connection. I found connection this past weekend and now that I know what it feels like, I want to continue to seek it out.