By this time next week, I’ll be at my first craft lecture at the Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop. Last year’s experience was the highlight of my fledgling fiction-writing career–twenty pages of a WIP thrown out to eight strangers and an author whose work I admired and which received very positive feedback. But, before that happened, I shook in my Tevas, I was ready to go home the first night, and I had convinced myself I’d made a bad decision. Then, it all turned out completely differently and gave me a confidence boost I’m still surfing.
Of course, being the nervous Nellie I am, I’m already tying my stomach in knots over attending Fred Leebron’s Advanced Novel workshop. I had put in for Beginning Novel, which seemed logical. I have all these unpublished novels in various stages of completion–unpublished being the operative word. Not enough people signed up for Beginning Novel, so I was faced with the choice of re-taking the same workshop from last year (which would be good but there’s nothing like fresh eyes on your work) or not attending Tinker Mountain at all.
After I lamented this on Facebook, a writer friend suggested Leebron’s workshop would be the best option. One glance at Leebron’s bio at Gettysburg College, where he teaches writing, is intimidating, and he’s also a founder and director of TMWW. That’s like taking a constitutional law class from the President, but every writer friend I know who has had Leebron for a workshop has praised him for providing just the right critique.
Okay, gulp. Twenty pages of a different WIP polished and sent off to more strangers and an author whose work I’m not as familiar with–though that will change.
Really, I’m ready to go right now. My head is in the right space for it, and I know in the next week I’ll start that hideous second-guessing I always do and work myself into a tizzy of self-doubt.
I’m a writer; it’s my job to doubt myself.