Last night I finally did something I had been meaning to do for a while. Since Seeley's getting a little less dependent on me for constant nursing (which, by the way, is waaaaay more consuming than I ever thought it would be), I decided to take a writing workshop. For me writing is one of those things that I have to do. I've heard writers talk about how they didn't have a choice but to be writers, despite the insecurity and instability of the creative life (financially and emotionally) and that's kind of how I feel. It's a constant effort to nourish that desire to write while battling the demons of insecurity and lack of time. But I decided to make the time and push myself in front of a community of writers.
I've taken a one-time workshop from The Attic Writers Insititute before and found it a welcome place with accomplished instructors. The classes take place in an apartment that's been converted into two libraries and meeting spaces. It's a perfect mix of imformality and dedication. The workshop I'm taking focuses on writing about the arts. This is new for me in two ways; I've never actually persued my interest in dance, music, fine art, etc. in any formal way and, I've never shared any non-fictional writing I've done (but I've written plenty.) But why not do something new?
Before I get to the class, I have to digress for a moment. Stay-at-home moms are always told to "get out" once and a while for their mental health. This is said with the best intentions, and indeed it is important to do so, but it is also a pain sometimes. The best way I can explain it is someone coming to your office in the middle of the day and telling you to take an hour off, they'll figure out how to do your work. Tempting, yes, but not so easy to throw off a schedule or not worry how things are going. Things definitely aren't as easy as "I'm leaving for a couple hours! Bye!" Anyways, back to the workshop. I had been assuming that the other members would be like me, trying something new, working on their craft. Well, not quite.
There were dancers, painists, people working for the opera, the art museum ...and there was me. I was equal parts impressed and excited to meet such accomplished people and terrified as it came time to make my introduction. "Hi, I'm Tanya. I'm from Montana. I have a baby" was the gist of it. Total intimidation took over. The way my new classmates where able to talk about movement, painting and music was inspiring, their knowledge of the Portland art scene confounding. When I left I felt total shell shock from being so intimidated. "Do I even belong here? Am I out of my league?" I thought as I walked to the car. On the drive home though I came to my senses. I do belong there. Trying something new like this is scary because it's new. It's worth it, though, and I'm sticking with it.
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