Ok, well, I promised to let you all know how I liked the second part of my critique group experience and I have to say - I'm just as baffled as the first go round. Perhaps more so.
Hmmm...actually blogging about this seems to be healing and therapeutic in a way. My poor hubby is most likely tired of my ramblings at this point. It's just that I always walk away from these meetings wondering what is bothering me about this group. Why do I feel so drained upon leaving and coming home?
I'm bothered that I don't want to stick it out. I'm not a quitter. It's a shame really because the critiques I received are chock full of good stuff. I know I benefit as a writer from this experience but it leaves me feeling somehow tainted in a way I can't quite explain. This just isn't the right fit for me and for some reason that fact makes me feel like a failure.
When I arrived tonight I had a nice conversation with an older gentleman in the group who seems kind and sincere. I was thankful for the interaction and I felt like I was off to a good start. (remember...total optimist here) Then there were the ladies. I was okay with them shredding my work...I signed up for it and that's what I'm there for. They gave me good constructive feedback - both very positive along with some major things I need to work on. What I didn't really enjoy was the way they all seemed to talk to each other and somehow leave me out of the loop. It was this "know it all" attitude that just hit me the wrong way. At one point they got off topic completely and began discussing (by name) a man from another group who apparently has a hideous submission. I found it appalling and unprofessional. And just plain mean.
I guess what is truly bothering me at the heart of this issue is purely "Are these my people or not?" The obvious answer is no. I need to find another group. I need good critiquers who are honest, friendly, open and deep down good people. They don't have to be like me and they don't even have to really like me. Okay that last one was a lie. I have a problem with people not liking me because, well, that's me. I want to be friends with the people who critique me and I want to like them and enjoy our conversation. You can tell me my writing is crap and as long as you like me as a person, I'm going to be hurt but I'm going to take it okay. Weird but true. I just want to look forward to Wednesday night instead of dreading it. Is that too much to ask? I want this process to be a fun one instead of work. Afterall...this is a hobby and I feel like while staying in this group would benefit my writing, I'm selling my soul in doing so. It really feels like that.
Am I insane? Maybe. But it's my choice.
The worst part? At the end of the meeting they asked for volunteers for the next meeting. I didn't want to volunteer but they looked at me and asked me directly. Sometimes I have a problem saying no. It's just me. It's annoying. So I said yes.
Now I know what I need to do...quit the group...but I'm stressing over it. I have no idea where to find another one and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but it's just not for me. It makes me feel hinky. I've been enjoying using the word hinky lately...even when it doesn't fit. Totally random I know.
SO my mind is racing with all these thoughts of the night and how things went. Lucky for me I have some editing to do. Looking to be a LONG night.
Eva over at Screaming Whispers left me a cool award. I've gotten it once already but it's my most favorite one so I'll happily display it again! Weeeee! And this tiny fact alone, along with all you happy writer bloggy friends, has lessened the torture of my day. You all seriously rock!
And now on to the editing. Blah!
Good night all!