peeling myself up off of the kitchen floor was embarrassing moment #948520948 today.
ok, that is an exaggeration. today hasn’t been totally mortifying, but i have officially experienced my first “creative writing critique” from a professor, and i have been blushing and twitching and second-third-and fiftieth-guessing my essay for hours now.
i think that one of the hardest parts of being a writer, in my opinion, is A-admitting that *you.are.a.writer.* and B-showing people [someone, anyone] your writing.
last year, i showed my wife a “cutesy” personal essay that i thought she might dig, and she read it and enjoyed it. i couldn’t write for six fucking months after that.
i don’t know what it is..is it a “writer thing”? is it just a “low self-esteem thing”? is it both? i don’t know if it even matters what people’s reactions are; inevitably we will feel inadequate and self-indulgent and silly for even sending it.
i had a crazy, weird, borderline-need-to-be-on-meds reaction today, to my professor reading my essay. it wasn’t life or death. it wasn’t my entire grade. it wasn’t anything. it was just me and him, sitting in his tiny office, me wishing i hadn’t worn my jacket into the restaurant i had just met my mom and sister at for lunch; i worked there for five years and could still smell the oils and seasonings in my hair. i hoped to ––– that dr. ––– couldn’t. we talked about my essay and i was redder than the fuckin’ flag..my face and chest complexion battled with my purple lipstick over who was darker.
ugh. i hate this shit.
he read what i wrote, and he had a decent reaction, but i didn’t really “get” it. he asked me questions that i was wayyyy too awkward and insecure to answer..the “direction” that the essay was headed in was far too blurred by my nervousness at being in my professor’s office, sitting there trying not to watch as he read my essay, wondering what in the hell he was thinking.
i did come home and break down on the kitchen floor afterwards, and it ended up just fine. i felt self-indulgent even though i really needed that floor moment [really, though, it couldn’t have been prevented], my dogs were licking me up and down, my mascara was running all over my face, and i realized how pathetic i looked. i jumped up [okok, i STOOD up, very slowly] and i lit some candles and blasted some music and poured some wine and said OK. OK. HERE IT IS.
my essay might suck and i might get horrible feedback for years to come about my writing, but for now, i am just happy that i was able to show it to someone [especially a prof] and make it through. i was shaking and red and a blubbering mess, but i made it through. and next time, it will be better.