Tonight I'm taking the first chapter of my first book to the writer's workshop to be critiqued. It's a funny experience, both exhilarating and frightening. Every time I take something to critique I get very anxious. Will this be the time that they all decide I'm not really a writer and escort me out? (Although I'm not sure they really could escort me out of Barnes and Noble.) Maybe they will just turn away, shunning me for my lack of talent, or chase me from the table shouting "Hack! Hack!" or worst of all.. just laugh?
In order to build up my courage, I submitted the chapter to my in-house revision staff, better known as Zane, my fourteen year old son, and his girlfriend. Although they were supposed to be studying history they agreed to read for me IF I would make them kool-aid. There is something ironic about being required to perform motherly duties in order to get opinions on my attempt to do something non-motherly. They pronounced it "good" and "worth an A" and then Zane went on to ask me a few questions about the setting and the motivations of the antagonist. I expected a grunt from the boy and a giggle from the girl but I got so much more. I actually ended up running back to my computer to change a few things.
Amazing, isn't it? The boy I taught to read is now helping me learn to write.