My heart skips a beat each time I see a red marker indicating emails in my account dedicated to writing-related stuff. With approximately 10 days to go before my workshop starts, I have been hearing from the instructors and part of my cohort. We each have been asked to submit a piece of work we intend workshopping in class. A piece of work less than 5000 words. One that is neither a first draft nor polished work ready for submission. Since I have signed up for two sessions, I get to do it twice, once for each session, for being critiqued by two different groups.
Also by the time we are in class, I should have read, absorbed, critiqued and provided notes on all of my cohort’s submissions. I sit today reading each essay and feeling overwhelmed. Given that I signed up for non-fiction, most of these pieces are raw, stark, unapologetic and lyrical. I read and reread, trying to understand what the story is, who the audience is and wonder if the story I hear is the one the narrator wants me to hear.
I search for articles on how to critique. I attempt writing one and sigh because it feels so difficult. Suddenly, I feel like an imposter. Someone with no formal training on how words build on each other to form a narrative, someone who has little clue about grammar rules. Then I tell myself that I got in so there has to be something I have to offer.
I close the document and let the stories sit in my head. I soak in the cadence of words strung together. I let it steep. I will take a stab at it tomorrow when my mind is clear and I feel a little more confident.
There is something about learning for the love of something, to spend time and effort because of this thing called passion, to put in the work knowing there is no immediate payoff and quite possibly there might be nothing to show for it.
I have business cards printed. I have a book of essays that is the required reading for the first session. I have a folder full of notes I must read through before the second session starts. I feel a sense of quiet exhilaration despite the load of it all. I am marking off the days in my head until I leave.
I want to preserve all of this for me to come back to another day when it is all in the past. To read this to remind myself that I wanted this so badly.