Wednesday, February 14, 2007

La-Di-Frickin'-Da, I'm The Queen of The World

So, I read my first story in the writers' workshop, last night. I read first, because I was overcaffeinated and nervous, and just wanted to get it done. I was pleased to get laughs at some laugh lines, but wasn't completely sure how it was being received until the end, when a couple people immediately said "well, shit -- now I don't want to read my story." They really liked it!

Seriously, pretty much all good comments. Even during the break and after class, people came up to me and said how great they thought it was. Cue head swelling, horn fanfare -- now.

But here's the problem. I'm not usually an overly confident person, but when I heard the rest of the writers' pieces? I honestly thought mine was the best in the class. There were maybe three people who had some good, solid writing in their stories, all of which needed some cleaning up in one way or another, but mine was the most developed and complete. Does this make me a giant jackass?

Listen, I don't want to put people down, but a lot of the folks in the workshop really haven't written before, or in a long time. And though they are lovely people who may have some interesting ideas, their craft is, at this point, in the early stages of development. Honestly, it has been rare that I have been in a class or workshop situation where I didn't think a least a few people's stuff was as good as or better than mine, even without accounting for differences in style and taste. So what does this mean? Have I suddenly developed a huge ego, do I just happen to be in a low-level class, or am I really that damn good?

I feel a bit full of myself, but unsettled. I'd like more of a challenge than the exercises we're being given, and I'd like to have more experienced writers to share comments and ideas with. I even looked into whether there's an intermediate level workshop I could transfer into. But, it seems that this particular organization has "mixed" courses for beginners and intermediate writers, and advanced courses for published authors; that's it. So, what do I do?

Well, I suppose I can just work the assignments and get what I can out of them. You can always learn something new, after all. But I feel disappointed, because I now realize that I'm ready to move a bit farther forward than that, perhaps working towards publication of some other pieces I've been noodling with, and the format and level of this workshop just won't allow for that.

Besides, I'm doing all this while working on my portfolio and looking for a job. I'd rather go at writing full force or have my time free for now to work on those other things. Or, you know, get some sleep.

What do you think? Stick with it, or try to engineer something else, maybe by asking the instructor? Would that make her think I'm an ass?

Honestly, it's nice to really feel that I can write. And hey, if I ever get too big for my britches, I can always go read First Nations. Like my writing could ever be that interesting.

P.S.: They made me switch to New Blogger. Everything look alright to you?

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TigerYogi said...

I think that you should stick with the class. You might get something out of the other exercises. (Plus it will be a good ego boost!)

Corn Dog said...

Ok, I guess I'm going to be the devil's advocate to tigeryogi. The one time I got in a situation like you described and I stuck it out I was sorry. AND I don't think it is a matter of ego. For whatever reason, sometimes you bump across a class like that once in a while. Huge waste of time. I know. We are all supposed to be magnanimous and critique everybody but sometimes people are really on different levels. These other people have not had classes for years and they are not writing all the time. They just want to be writers. I'm not sure how that works. I take classes all the time. I write every day. I have NO patience though and I promised myself I would never ever endure another class like you described. I don't want to be the best in the class. I better damn well be somewhere down in the middle of the pack when I take a class. I want to learn. I don't want to teach. My 2 cents and it is only 2 cents.