July 29, 2012

Writer Rejuvenated: ROW80 Update

I sat and listened, my worry increasing with each word read. I clutched my paper tighter, wondering if I should back out. I was a guest after all, nobody really expected me to read. The two stories before me were different, but each was beautiful and built the pressure.

This is how I felt attending my mom's writing group as a guest. I've never been a part of a close writing group, but Mom has for years. We had yet to read any part of our Depression Cookies follow-up to anyone. I was so nervous.

Mom read first, because her character starts each chapter.

My unease grew. I write a seventeen-year-old character, Krista. She's not supposed to be espousing poetic narration. But all three pieces before my reading were poetic (one was poetry). The hand holding my paper began to shake. Did I mention I suck at public speaking?

But then I read. I know my character so well it's like I'm speaking. I settled in. I noticed some things I wanted to change, I edit best by reading aloud, but overall was happy. Then came critique time...

I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone in the group got it and gave us wonderful input. They saw the emotion of seeing the same event through a mother eyes and then her daughter's.

I left with a renewed determination to finish this book. A fire in the belly, if you will.

What I loved best was how this group could see each piece separate from another. It's not my job to write like someone else, but to represent my characters and story in the best way I can.

Thanks to the Pamlico Writers' Group for treating a guest like a member and for rejuvenating my writing spirit.

What's the last thing that rejuvenated your love of reading or writing?


My A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) Update

Writing: Made the changes suggested by the critique group and those Mom and I discussed prior to and after the reading. Back to my 30 minutes a day writing goal tomorrow.

Editing: Back in full swing tomorrow. I will feature two of the books I edited on this blog in the coming weeks: Trinidad Express by Jim Keen and Gifts from a Muse by Lane Schroeder.

Blogging: Oops. Had a Fun Facts Friday about Olympians, but my scheduler didn't work. I didn't realize it until Saturday late afternoon thanks to travel, and it seemed silly to publish a Fun Facts Friday post then. So it'll be up this Friday.

Social Media: Failure. Traveling is hard on blog reading. I hate to read blogs on my phone. I turn 40 on Saturday, and I refuse to strain my eyes reading blogs knowing that reading glasses are probably not too far in the future as it is. But catch up I will (that sounded very Yoda).

Reading: Loving it. But I have a tale to tell about a recent review experience. Will have a blog forthcoming about it.


Winnie said...

Hope you had a great 40th! Only the beginning of lots of adventures!

Jo Michaels said...

Rejuvenation was given to me by two lovely reviews. One was a 4 star and one was a 5. I love that someone got so into my book that they neglected to sleep just so they could finish it. Yassa is THE book for me. It's the one that started it all. When it gets accolades like that, I am driven to write more books. I'm glad you got your great feedback. Writers really do need that. WRITE ON!

Elise Fallson said...

The PWG is a great group. I'm glad you got positive feedback and renewed motivation to finish! Can't wait to read it. (:

Tia Bach said...

Winnie, I plan on embracing 40, but not until Saturday, 8/4. Until then I'm hanging on to 39! ;-)

Jo, I'm so excited to read Yassa. I only wish I had more time to get to all the books that beg me to read them.

Elise, Your dad was there. And he gave me some great input. It really is such a lovely group. Maybe one of these days we'll go together.

Elise Fallson said...

Tia, I would love to go with you! Lets make it happen!

Julie Glover said...

Travel can really eat into the goals and schedule. I have been off track for 3 weeks, but I'm getting back in the groove. Glad your reading experience went well. Sounds fun! Best wishes for a great week!

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

Good thoughtful critique, especially when someone believes in your work and encourages you, is what refreshes me like a dive into a pool on a hot day.

Having the instructor in the class I took last week listen to my idea, say it was something I should absolutely pursue, and want me to let her know about my progress, was just the encouragement I needed.

It sounds like you had a lovely time, and I'm so glad you got a good hearing.

Have a wonderful week, Tia!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Julie. Summer isn't best for writing, but I wouldn't give it up for anything. I just hope I can reboot the words starting 8/27.

Elizabeth, Encouragement is so wonderful. I'm so thankful to my ROW80 pumpers!

Callie Leuck said...

This sounds nice :) I've discovered recently how much reading aloud helps me edit my writing. And reading TO people helps you notice all sorts of things. It's rejuvenating.

Tia Bach said...

I agree, Callie. So much so that my mom and I are scheduled to do a book reading/signing next Sunday, 8/19. Hope it's another rejuvenating experience!