Sunday, March 25, 2007

Performance Anxiety

I gave a story to my writing group just before I left for San Francisco. That trip, or the trip to ICFA, meant I missed a meeting. While I was at ICFA, I had a dream. Lyda Morehouse, who is the writing group, told me that the group discussed my story at the meeting I missed and decided the story was so rough and unfinished that they could not critique it. So they were handing it back to me to revise until it was good enough to give to the group. I was furious and threw something at Lyda. It was paper of some kind. It couldn't have hurt her. And I either quit the group or threatened to quit.

Sean Murphy, also in my group, was in Florida for a family gathering and came back on the same plane. I told him my dream in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.

"Ah," he said. "A little performance anxiety."

The group critiqued the story last Thursday. With mostly minor nitpicks, they liked it. However I told them about the dream first. So now I am wondering if they really liked the story or were being kind because of the dream.

I really need to do more writing, because I don't think I am taking myself seriously as a writer; and I really should. I mean, my creds are not bad. Maybe it's a loop. I don't take myself seriously as a writer because I don't write enough; and I don't write enough because I don't take myself seriously as a writer.


Blogger Naomi said...

Your story actually did come up at the meeting you missed. I hadn't read it, and everyone told me to hurry up and read it because it was a really great story. Someone (Bill, I think) added that it was heartbreaking.

So yes, even in your absence, without knowing about your paranoia, people thought it was a fantastic story. Clean out the nits and send it out.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Kelly McCullough said...

We liked it, rather a lot.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Eleanor, I think you nailed the self-inscribed loop bit, and I think every one of us has had that experience--save the part about the fantastic creds you've already earned. We'd love to see more stories from you, as many as you'll write!

Ditto on Naomi's confirmation, by the way. That's how it went down, dawg.

1:59 PM  

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