Last night I went to a meeting of the writer's group I belong to. When I first joined four or so years ago, I was a closet writer. I'd never really shown any one my work, much less read it out loud to a group of strangers.
But my timing had been perfect. The group was on fire at that time with a large core of talented writers all making huge leaps in their writing careers. We had published writers, about to be published writers and raw new beginners like myself. The most important part was that we all liked each other, we all were supportive of each other. Critiques were honest, fair and done without damage. It was within that support network that I wrote my currently being schlepped out to agents novel.
But as groups tend to do, it fell apart a little. People were busy. People moved. New people came in and the dynamic changed. Not so much for the better. I began to not want to go, not want to share my work. The four or so key people who I trusted and depended on and respected their opinions were rarely around. The feedback I was getting wasn't helping. Wasn't hurting, but wasn't helping.
As I have struggled in the past six months to get this current project off the ground, floundering around, changing this, convinced every word is a giant steaming pile 'o turds, I was convinced it was one of two things. Either the story wasn't wanting to be told or I had told the only story I had in me already.
But last night, all those core people whose opinions I trusted and relied upon were there. The energy was there. We were fairly vibrating with the buzz. It was clicking along. And they liked my new stuff. I hadn't realized that what was wrong was that I was writing in a vaccuum, that I had come to depend upon those people. I was, in part, writing for them. Wanting to have something new and exciting and good to share with them spurred me on in the writing.
It feels great to have that spark back. Hopefully it'll catch hold and the fire will last. Hopefully.
I feel a little guilty about all the goofy, non-flattering Thor pictures recently, so here he is being A-Thor-able.