Sunday, April 14, 2013

Critique Anxiety




Sharing one’s work, written or visual can be a frightening proposition.  You've slaved away in your studio, lost in your thoughts and personal motivation.  Then you and your work step out into the world to see what others see in the creative expression. For me, at times this stepping out into an unknown realm can be daunting and the prospect of doing it yesterday with my writing has left me with a headache.
I am workshopping my fiction at Newberry Library.  Love the workshop, the teacher and there are many fascinating people and good writers in the class. I had been working on a new first chapter to my novel.  My original first chapter wasn't grabbing enough; it just focused on the protagonist’s everyday experience.
The revised first chapter was difficult to write. After writing and editing it I was almost ready to cry.  It is sad and unfortunate, what happens to her.  She is a seemingly powerless teenager who gets abused repeatedly. Anyway, I felt vulnerable about sharing this piece yet at the same time I wanted to know if it was more captivating than my original first chapter so I workshopped it.
Doing readings to communicate your work to others—that is another strange animal.  That breeds nervousness inside of me that is distinct from the possibility of negative feedback. Usually though, my work grabs hold of me, I reconnect with it through reading it aloud and it goes just fine.
I was so relieved after I read because the reading itself went well and the feedback was very supportive and constructive….now if only I could get rid of that headache.
On my next chapter, which comes a bit later in the book, I will be incorporating the practice of collecting and using lightning water to make change occur. This is a Hoodoo practice used by her Grandpa.

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