Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kittens and Critiques

Words Written Today:  600

Last night I attended my first critique group. I rarely give myself credit where credit is due but I don't feel bad stating that this was an act of bravery. It takes a certain frame of mind and dosage of Zoloft to get me out of the house and interacting with society on the best of days and to voluntarily sit face to face with a group of strangers and read to them my latest work... well, that's asking a lot of me.

That being said, the experience was wonderful. I did neither vomit nor cry spontaneously and the stress was miniscule. I put on my invisible badge that said "I am a writer" and I did what writers do. I read my work, I received critical input and did the same for the others in the group. Overall the feedback was positive for the excerpt I read and nothing can charge a writer's batteries like positive feedback.

Something strange did happen, as strange things will around me. When asked to introduce myself I said, "My name is Sara. I wrote and illustrated my first book in the first grade. It was about a cat." Now this might not seem odd but you have to understand I had completely forgotten about that child's attempt at literature until the moment I decided to voice it as a credential.

On the drive home I thought about the book I'd written about a cat and tried to remember the plot. From what I remember, there was a cat. The cat had kittens in the attic. Someone was sad. The kittens were cute. And then the book was finished. I don't know why that makes me smile and frown at the same time but I wish I could go back to my six-year-old self and ask her what made her write and illustrate such a book and why anyone with an attic full of kittens would be sad.