Saturday, February 28, 2015

Let's Talk About That Time I Wasn't So Brave | A Progression in Playwriting (3)

I mentioned that I would do a blog post about the 2nd week at writing class in A 72 Year-Old Crawfish Salesman? | A Progression in Playwriting (2) which was a few weeks ago (yeah, I'm behind on blog posts) because I didn't have enough to say for a video. (Even though we all know Sofia can ramble on for ages listening to the sound of her own voice) If you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, A Progression In Playwriting is a 10 episode series on Loving the Language of Literacy where I talk about writing class.  

Now you're going to hear why. I mentioned my fear in the longest blog post title in the history of time - I Am @sslluvbooks & I Will Not Be Embarrassed ~ Pressure, Peers, Respect & Distractions.... The Plight of a 21st Century Teenage Blogger - the gist of it was the fact that I felt extremely self-conscious and embarrassed when people I know in real life see what I do with my blog/YouTube channel. My "internet personality" is a bit different from my one IRL, primarily because I wouldn't say half of the things I do to real people. Anyways, a week and a half ago, I experienced the same thing.... with writing class instead.

Backstory Time - The original title of this episode of A Progression in Playwriting was A Foray Into Fiction. It's obvious I like alliteration here :) My lovely instructor wasn't there for the week so everyone in playwriting had to choose whether to go to Fiction or join the dark side (as the teacher refers it) known as poetry. For the day, I chose to go with Fiction because that's what I was going to pick originally when starting the class. I wanted to see if there was anything I was missing out on.

Heres What I THINK Was The Problem....

In playwriting, everyone is so new to the type of writing that it's really relaxed and intimate, and everyone is a bit of an awkward/sarcastic drama queen/king that no one cares if you mess up.

In poetry, people are generally pretty deep (or so I've heard from one of my friends in the class) and pouring their souls out onto paper.

Yet, general fiction is something people generally know well and are a lot quicker to criticize. I'm a book reviewer for goodness sakes! I know what I like to read and I have a basic understanding on what makes a story "good." I was just surrounded by a ton of good writers (around half of them younger than me) and the little they wrote felt superior to mine.

We were all give random title prompts to choose from and told to write for 15 minutes. It was basically a NaNoWriMo word sprint on crack because we were supposed to SHARE what we had written in that time. I will most definitely share work with people or even the internet without going over it 20 billion times, but I would like the chance to read it over before sharing it and receiving feedback on something I don't even consider my top-notch work.

By the end of class, the vast majority of our class had shared what they had written, and it sounded amazing. It was quite enjoyable from a viewer's perspective to listen to the various writing styles and ways the title prompts were put into play. From the position of someone expected to share their own work and make it sound even half as good as everyone else's.... not so much.

I could blame it on the fact that what I had written for the day just wasn't good and I am completely fine with that, but at the same time, I felt so frustrated and frankly, humiliated, that I wasn't brave enough. I talk the talk a lot, but I don't walk the walk enough in my writing life. The only way to get better is to receive constructive criticism from others. FOUR-FIFTHS of the class presented, why couldn't I?

The very next week, I vowed that I would share my work (which I did), but I'm going to remember this experience for a long time.

Was there a time in your life when you should have done something -because there wouldn't have been any serious consequences- but did't because you were afraid?

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