There is a pasture that butts up against our back yard. The barbed wire fence separates us from a lovely herd of cows and the occasional flock of black birds. The fence, however, does little to actually separate us from the birds; they decide on their own to feast predominately in the cow field.
Usually, just beyond the pasture, one can see the road. You can even hear it when the appliances are silent. Today, however, there is nothing beyond the field. Just a white wall of fog. The trees stand out in stark, black contrast to the mist, creating the illusion of a void beyond.
Last week I had to submit two screenplay ideas for my writing class. I am not a screenwriter. I've tried it before and, apart from being an interesting experiment in dialogue, I felt completely out of my element. Floundering. Needless to say I'm feeling that way in this course. Unlike my own project, I can't just decide screenwriting isn't for me this time. I have to persevere for seven more weeks. This week is the big challenge: we begin critiquing each other's ideas.
Now I've critiqued and had critiqued creative writing before. It's part of the degree and I don't mind it. I appreciate the constructive criticisms and have learned to brush aside the, "I just don't get what you're trying to say" comments that pop up with some regularity. This time, however, I'm a bit apprehensive to check my comments. I feel a lot like the cow pasture today: appearing substantial and yet, just beyond me, is a white void of nothing.
Am I feeling insecure? You bet. Too bad this didn't come for my Insecure Writers Support Group post. Alas, insecurity doesn't wait until it's needed for a witty post or inspirational diatribe. It's here, lurking, creeping around like the mist beyond my doors and windows. Tapping against the panes. Curling around the trees. Is it a big deal? No. I'll get a good grade as long as I follow the procedures and create according to the rubric. Thankfully, we're not being graded on Oscar-worthy ideas. Still...I'm a writer...and the prospect of "you suck" in any capacity (even one that is not my normal genre) is a bit unnerving.
What shall I do? Considering the critique is part of our grade, I'll march myself over and begin critiquing other people's work. Then I'll ever so hesitantly,creep over to my own post and see what others have to say. Keep your fingers crossed! Hopefully the fog clears in time for others to see that there really is something on the other side of the trees.