The last day of the busyness
Dinner guilt

On writing, which I know bores you, I'm sorry

All I've been doing lately is reading. Well, that and feeding people, doing their laundry, wiping their bottoms, and picking up after them. My job. But when I'm not doing that I am reading. I've burned through a handful of murder mysteries, The Book Thief which I'm just going to come out and say was the most moving thing I've read in a long long time, and last night I fell asleep with Sense and Sensibility. (Because it was free! YAY FREE!) 

But I also went for my measly half-hour neighborhood run last night and came home with MORE thoughts on my OWN writing project. Which I promptly wrote down on a piece of Hello Kitty notepaper, and then went downstairs to watch Sunday night's Mad Men (and eat ice cream. What Anniversary of Hot By Thirty post?!) 

So today I've decided: more writing, less reading. I mean, the two things are obviously not mutually exclusive. In fact, to do the first you're required to do quite a bit of the second. And yesterday, when the kids (both of them!) slept from one to four-thirty (!) and I spent almost the entire time on the couch with my Kindle sobbing my way to the end of The Book Thief, that felt like recovery. We've had a couple of long weeks and it was nice to sort of escape and sit life out for a few hours. But there are only so many hours in the day where no one is pestering me for anything, and I want to get back on track. I don't want to be the girl who writes annoying blog post after annoying blog post about her WRITING and never actual WRITES anything. 

(Which is what I am right now.) 

Yesterday I got an email from my friend Emily (Hi Emily!) about local writing classes and crit groups and people she knows who are Living The Dream and it was invigorating, inspiring and totally terrifying all at once. Part of me knows that I can't do this all by myself. Part of me very much understands that I need input and advice and questions and outside perspectives. And then the other, much bigger, part of me thinks that I need a lot more time before I start asking anyone to read what I've written, because it's not in any sort of readable condition yet. 

Of course, knowing me, it will NEVER be in readable condition. MOAN. 

And, okay, maybe I will just PUT THIS OUT THERE and SEE WHAT HAPPENS... but here's a thought I've had for a good long while... are any of YOU open to a crit group? Maybe? Perhaps? I know some of you are writer types. I have even brought this up with some of you in emails. I wonder if there's a way to pull it off online. I don't know. Quite honestly, I am just as afraid of you as I am of random real life crit grouppers.

(Picture me fleeing the room and hiding behind a large potted plant.)

How about we talk other stuff instead. Like how hot it is, and how yesterday afternoon felt like my melting point, even though it was hardly the hottest day of the year so far. And how I think I might take my kids to the free children's movie tomorrow, because it's going to be hot then too, even though they've never been to a movie and it might be a flat out disaster. Or, um, how I'm going to have to throw out the blueberries because everyone is tired of Blueberry Baked Goods and the kids won't eat them anyway. And oh right, something about an Anniversary of a Weight Loss Deadline, Thoughts On, but I have two other contractually required posts to write so we'll see if I get any other writing done today. Can't go around ruining my rep as the girl who whines about Her Novel rather than writing it, right?!

Comments

Kelly L.

"I don't want to be the girl who writes annoying blog post after annoying blog post about her WRITING and never actual WRITES anything." --> oops. That's totally me. Awkward.

Elizabeth

START THE WRITING GROUP ALREADY I WANT TO JOIN.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

OMG - YES. I am totally interested in an online crit group (which TERRIFIES me, but at least it would be online so no one would be able to see the TERROR on my face). My bloggy friend Kristina (mylessoninhumility.wordpress.com)and I have been talking about how to form one!

Maybe you would email me with any further thoughts on this?

Sarah in Ottawa

I am totally not a writer and have no experience with Crit groups (that's Dave's department, as he has the degree in Creative Writing). That said, I would LOVE to read your work and give comments, if ever you'd feel comfy doing that. I spent November begging to read it (you had me at VM-inspired character names), and I would still love to!

Brittany

I don't find writing posts at all boring, but then I am trying to write a novel. You are so way ahead of me, Maggie. I've got, like, a first chapter. I'm also sure that your novel is better than ypu think it is.

I think I need a crit group, too. Cause I'm not sure if my first chapter is anything other than BORING, you know? SIgh.

april

Two things:
a) I loved the actual story in The Book Thief, but I hated the form -- I feel that a good story can stand on its own without all the gitchy typeface changes, and bold print ... blah blah blah, I think it really took away from a great and touching story.

b) I majored in English-creative writing in college, and while I wasn't a particularly talented writer, I've always had a knack for editing :) I'd be in!

Meghan

Speaking as a person who reads whatever you write and publish here and other places, and who gets annoyed when there is nothing new to read, I just want to say that it's probably better than you think and that you are a wonderful writer, very funny, and etc. So there. Please go forth and let someone read it.

Charlotte

Yes to crit group! The big question is: will you ever think that what you've written is readable? Perhaps having some positive reinforcement will once and for all drive home the fact that you are a kickass writer.

Christy

I don't write and the mere thought of a crit group terrifies me, but for Heaven's sake, DON'T THROW OUT THE BLUEBERRIES! Freeze them! Lay 'em out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, freeze till solid, put in a bag. Then you have blueberries when you're not already sick of them!

Hillary

Usually, I just lurk here, but I would VERY much be interested in a crit group.

The Sojourner

I would totally join, except that I'm already in an online crit group of sorts and I fail at ever posting anything for people to...you know, crit. My beta reader is a member of that group (but I joined the group because I knew her, I don't know her because I joined the group, if that makes any sense), but I'm still pretty non-participatory because I can't stand the thought of 20 people all reading my writing at once and commenting and I have to deal with it all!

/end angst

Also, I read somewhere (perhaps on the NaNo forums?) that if you think your writing is lousy it's actually probably half decent. It's the people who are all "I haz the next Shakspir, for realz!!!11!!" who are in trouble.

Christiana

Yes! Online crit group! I've been dying to read what you wrote anyway and I'm curious about my own work in progress and some feedback to see if it has potential or not... (of course, this means I'm going to have to focus on it some more, but that's actually a good thing, right?)

What if we traded emails w/ the files on the writing (read only or something) and then set up some sort of private message board for the actual discussions? I have no idea how to do that, but...

Christina

Chiming in days late because I'm just now catching up after three weeks away...

I have just sworn, for the third year in a row that THIS will be the year that I get serious about my writing - once all the kids are back at school, of course. But this time, I really mean it. Really. Not that I've written anything or even have a kernal of an idea... but I want to. So bad. And would you believe this morning I was thinking to myself, "I wonder if Maggie would want to do a crit group?" ... I swear. So, um, if you were thinking of a somewhat largish crit group including people who very much mean to write but haven't written much just yet, well, then, COUNT ME IN! :)

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