One of the blogs I follow is by Janet Reid, Literary Agent. Her Sharkship is awesome – I recommend it to anyone interested in writing and in submitting one’s writing for publication. In today’s blog she focused on her matchmaking service for people looking for writing partners or critique groups. The idea is that you send her a message describing what you’re looking for: how often you want to submit work to the group/partner, how much you submit at a time, where you are in the writing process (outline to final revision), what kind of feedback you’re looking for. She matches people up, and then you have someone to work with. You will get feedback and encouragement, and will know that if you don’t meet your goals, someone will be waiting for you.
I almost signed up.
Why didn’t I? Two reasons, I think.
One is that I’m turning out such a tiny amount of work on a daily or weekly basis, it would hardly seem worthwhile for someone else to be waiting as the words drip out of me like sap from a maple tree. By the time I finish a chapter, for instance, it can be a month or two later and my partner won’t remember any more what the last chapter was about. Hey, I almost can’t remember, and I’m working on it
every day every week or so, at least.
The other is simple cowardice. Actually, maybe not so simple. It’s not just fear of hearing negative things about my work, though there is some of that, of course. The other thing is that I don’t want to have someone counting on me to read their work carefully, think about it, and come up with meaningful, helpful feedback. Who am I to give someone else advice? I’m lost here, myself. It terrifies me to think that someone else might be counting on me for guidance. An interesting way for me to feel, given that I’m a teacher by profession, giving students guidance on their work, including writing assignments, constantly. But there, I’m an expert, fairly confident in myself. Here, not so much.
So, no match for me. Maybe if I get farther down my road, get more confidence, get closer to a draft I want to show someone. it will happen. For now, no.
Oh, and by the way – I wrote three days this week, for a total of 1230 words. Met my goal! Yay!