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Friday, July 15, 2011

Karen's First LWC Memory

One of the first LWC meetings I can recall attending was a critique session in February of 2008. There were four of us at Joe Mugs in Books-A-Million that night kicked back at a single table. And strangely, I can even remember who was there: Duncan, Jen, Ginny Andrews, and me.

There are a number of reasons I remember this first critique session. First, I was the last one to show up, and Duncan said, "Last one to arrive is the first one to read." I think I could feel my heart beating in my toes when he said that. I'd NEVER read my writing to anyone, much less a group of strangers. I think I said something ridiculous like, "Are you sure? I'm new."

Of course, those of you who know Duncan know he never cut us any slack, which I am grateful for now, but back then . . . well, I was scared to death. Whatever I said didn't work, and I, the newbie, did indeed read first that night.

The second reason I remember that night is because I found out that my writing wasn't as amazing as I thought it was. Why weren't these people as blown away by what I had written as I was? And I discovered it was because they knew a lot about writing that I didn't. Like how to cut the excessive detail, when prologues are acceptable, and how not to bore your reader.

That was what I learned the first night. Now, three and a half years later, I think I could write a book on what LWC has taught me.

And the third reason I remember that night is because one of the pieces read generated some friendly discussion about evolutionism and creationism, and it felt good to be around people who might not necessarily share the same views but who could express themselves honestly and thoughtfully. And I knew these were the kind of people I wanted to be around, because by surrounding myself with people just like me in the past, I had limited the scope of my writing.

Yes, there were only four of us that night, but I felt certain I could broaden something in myself here. And, boy, have I broadened myself, but that's a whole 'nother blog post.

LWC Members: If you'd like for me to post one of your first LWC memories, e-mail it to me.

Drop by on Monday to read "Growing Pleasures," a post about the growth history of LWC.

Post by: LWC Director, Karen Aldridge. Visit her personal blog at My Writing Loft.

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