It has cooled down to my great relief. Grey and rainy – fine with me. Heat really does add to my anxiety for some reason.
Today I stayed home and did not accomplish a whole lot. I did do the one important thing though – I sat down and wrote my piece for my creative writing class. I had put this off all week. Part of the procrastination was reading a book on how to write – From Where You Dream – The Process of Writing Fiction. I think it’s a great book, but reading it completely paralyzed me and I couldn’t actually do any writing.
Finally this afternoon, with the piece due at, um, 6:30, I sat down and wrote it. Not a real problem actually. I wanted to write a fantasy / sci fi piece, but that just went absolutely nowhere, so then I wrote about when I was a child and we moved from Europe to the US. It was actually pleasurable to write. Thinking about writing is horrible, but the actual writing is not. Images just seem to float up, and I get them down, and feel all calm and dreamy at the same time. Maybe the trick is finding the subject. Once I have that, it seems to come together pretty well.
Of course these pieces are tiny, just a page. So the bar isn’t set too high or anything. Still. I didn’t know I could do it.
Reading it out was better this time too. I did a whole inner dialogue in the class (silent) where I told the kid I’d take care of reading this, and she could relax and do other things, so to speak. And though I felt some fear, I didn’t have to keep stopping, and my voice was steady and pretty f’ing calm actually. An adult voice. Thank you therapy. I feel like if I can be aware that kid parts might be triggered, I can head them off. Yahoo!
A part of class I am less comfortable with is the criticism part. I am critical and I wonder how much value that has. We are to give our honest response, and I do find lots of good things in people’s stuff, but also parts I don’t think work. So, being me, I say it. Then I feel guilty and anxious.
One of the benefits the class has for me is recognizing what works in a piece of writing and what doesn’t. The teacher is really insightful on that point and I’ve learned a lot. Still I’m obviously far from an expert. And for poetry, I can’t tell at all. There is one poet in the class and he seems fabulous, and I don’t have the knowledge to begin to critique his poems. But for narrative, I know some things now.
Or are we all in need mainly of praise and encouragement….to just keep going. Would I be a better person if I stuck to that?
My anxiety after the class says yes. But the part of me that wants to know, that wants to tell the truth as I see it, says no.