30 Before 30 / Bits & Bites

30 Before 30: #27 – Take a Writing Class and Share Work

This blog ignited my passion for writing.  I have always adored reading but never thought I could be on the other side until I took up with this site.  Once I started getting a few followers, I realized I might actually have something to say so I have spent time here and there working on my own stuff.  I have vigilantly kept this work private because, frankly, I’m just not sure how good it is.  But deep down I knew if I wanted to keep writing, I should envision some sort of end game.  That meant I needed to be real with myself about what I wanted.  Turns out, I would really like to write a book, specifically a collection of essays in the vein of Mindy Kaling or Sloane Crosley.

I had some ideas of what I wanted to write about and so, for the past few years, I’ve been tinkering.  And still, never did I make moves to share this with anyone.  Scardey Cat.  But part of this 30 Before 30 project is pushing myself to my own personal edges.  Sharing my personal work terrified me, which is exactly why I needed to do it.  So, like with the painting class I just took, I used Coursehorse to sign up for a class.  I found one that was taught by Mike Sacks and was focused on humor writing and getting published.

The workshop was held at QED, an extremely cool space in Astoria for classes, performances, and drinks.  The day before the workshop, our instructor had us submit a piece of writing to the class and as they circulated, I realized just how high the stakes were.  Not only was the instructor an accomplished author several times over and a current editor at Vanity Fair, many of my fellow students were already published.  I felt way out of my depth.

I felt like Vada in My Girl when, as a 12-year-old, she signs up for a summer writing class with all grown-ups.  When it came time to discuss my piece, I was worried they would tear me to shreds.  Thankfully, all criticism throughout the class was highly constructive.  I received great feedback, including some praise, and couldn’t believe when the teacher said he could see a life for the character I introduced.  It was the exactly what I needed to push myself to try and make this writing thing happen.  It was nerve-wracking to put myself out there but also one of the best things I’ve done.

Date of Completion: 5/30/15

QED1 QED2

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