Like many writers, I suffer from a great desire to sit behind my computer and interact with people only through the written word.
Its so much easier.
And comfy. (I don't have to wear pants.)
And okay, I'll admit, it's easier to deal with any sort of criticism if you can view the source as cold an impersonal.
It's strange that I should feel this way about my writing. My day job requires lots of interpersonal interaction with people on various levels--from doing personal care to meetings with families and co-workers--and I weather that just fine. I don't mind any sort of feedback from online forums and things like that when it comes to my writing. But for some reason, having real live people listen to or read my work while looking at me is just too much.
Recently I've lit a new fire under my butt. I've decided to give my dreams a chance, re-visit some of my older works and breathe new life into them--give them the attention they deserved in the first place, rather than giving up on them because an agent didn't give their stamp of approval.
Soooo... I put my big girl pants on and attended a real live writing group. Like, one with people. In the same room as me. It was terrifying. And awesome. I'm so glad I put on the big girl pants. They're starting to feel really comfortable.
I've been in the Critters writing group for some time now and have found it valuable. But there is something about being in a room filled with other people who also have the same crazy, passionate dream as you do... It's inspiring, uplifting, and motivating. You're not alone! And as solitary as writing can sometimes feel, this is very important!
I highly recommend Writing at the Ledges, in Grand Ledge, if you are a mid-Michigan native. They are a great group of people and I hope to continue to develop supportive relationships with the group.