I was up last night excited about attending a writing workshop in the morning. For a program that was to start at 9 I was at the door a good half hour before. No problem! I had a cup of Tully’s coffee and an e-book for company until the other participants joined me.
I wasn’t prepared for the kind of participants that began arriving moments later. Most of them were senior citizens as I expected. All were elegantly dressed, smart, confident and chatted about with a sense of purpose unlike me who stood with a nervous smile plastered on my face. The moment I spotted the ladies I decided to grab my stuff, myself and my much-needed-coffee and shoot towards my car. But thanks to a few regular attendees who convinced me about the class and the coach being good and fun, I decided to give it a try. Remember, I wrote about living my life in such a way that I didn’t have much to regret? I reminded myself that and seized the golden opportunity.
Once seated my fear got worse. It was time to introduce myself and let everybody know what I expected from the class. My voice, when it did dare come out, sounded unlike mine. It was of a squeaky unsure mouse blurting out that it was open for anything that came its way. I couldn’t believe I’d said that. There was so much I wished to convey: How happy I feel when I write; How excited I was to be there; How much I’d like to see my work published. Just as in other intimidating situations I sat stammering, shivering and idiotically-smiling.
Once everybody began reading out what they’d written since their last session- a devotional prayer, an outline for a novel, an extract of a memoir and a letter written to the coach, Alexis- I felt exposed even as I lost myself in their worlds. I wasn’t half as good as they were! For my writing to stand in their league I’d need many more years of reading, understanding the craft and writing. Hmmmm…. But worrying about my inferior standards wasn’t going to take me anywhere. I shook my dirt off and started absorbing Alexis’s suggestions and ideas on writing a novel (Not that I dream of writing one someday!). I also began paying more attention to what the other participants had written.
Some stories not only inspired me but moved me to tears. I made up my mind to attend the next workshop just to gain the feeling of inspiration. It keeps me fueled the rest of my day as it did, today.