Hard to believe I know, but there are some things that poke me in the tummy like the Pillsbury Doughboy, only without the childlike giggle. The biggest disadvantage of working at home is the lack of human contact. Sure, it’s fabulous to roll into work in PJs, bedhead and crusties in the corner of your eye, but it can be damned lonely. (no offense to the hounds, but it’s hardly a substitute).
As many before me have pointed out, writing is a solitary pursuit. Because I’m female in the respect that I like to bounce things off people and talk things out, this is very difficult for me. I can only product so much by myself before I need to seek out others for input, opinions, criticism, and just general commiseration.
Sure, there writing groups, lists and communties a’plenty, but they are not all created equal and what might work for one person will not necessary twinkle my star, so to speak. While I’m a chick with a thick skin, someone who rarely blushes and is not often flustered, I’m an artist too, and like all such creatures, I perceive a skewering of my creative products as a direct reflection upon me and my abilities.
Let me qualify this – I can take criticism. I’m not such a puffball that I require large amounts of stroking to soothe my ego (although stroking is good, I’m a fan of stroking….this may very well be going in a dangerous direction…). However, there are positive, constructive and helpful ways to deliver criticism and horrid, cruel, and insensitive ways of doing it too. It’s the latter that I recently encountered and it left a dent like those commercials for those foam mattresses.
But lucky me, I just attended a writer’s group meeting that helped me shrug off a big chunk of the chains I’d been carrying around. I came home and read a couple of chapters for the first time in two months.
And I realized I don’t totally suck. While this sounds rudimentary, it was imperative for me to rediscover this notion so I oculd pull myself out of the dank, dark pit. Sure, I still have myriad issues to contend with, but at least I’m focused on solving them rather than warring with myself over the notion of quitting, and my guilt of feeling as if my life is nothing but a growing list of uncompleted projects.
I want to thank that group of lovely and eccentric people for reminding me of all of that. And to say that I look forward to seeing them again soon.