Treading Carefully

Today, more than ever before, I felt anxious about my pages being critiqued at my writing group. Perhaps they were horrible. Perhaps that they would see that I had failed. Perhaps they would sense that I didn’t work hard enough. A number of negative scenarios ran through my mind.

Although I knew that I would survive it. And my fellow writers wouldn’t hate me for it.

That’s the strange thing about this. To be so vulnerable, to be judged in the spotlight, and still come out relatively unscathed.

During the critique, I held my breath. I knew that they had good intentions, and the rule generally is to keep silent. So I did. Defending myself isn’t natural for me in the moment (I am better at analyzing the situation and coming up with the most off-the-wall commentary later). The pin pricks came. And then they ended.

Sometimes I remember the gift that I made for my mom a long time ago as a kid. At that time, I really didn’t put too much effort into it. What was the point if I couldn’t find the passion? So I made something just because either Christmas, Mother’s Day or birthday was coming up. Not because I wanted to. Gift giving doesn’t come naturally to me. So I gave it and she was disappointed by it. Simply said so. So no presents for you, then.

So that results in this belief: why bother if I don’t have the passion?

Then it returns to this: Because you have to do the hard work for the in-between moments. You have to do it so that you can get to the good parts.

So I endure it in anticipation of the better times.

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