Last week I started a new class at the Writer’s Center for people writing memoirs and novels. If you follow this blog at all, then you know that I’ve had a lot of luck with the Writer’s Center in the past—in fact it’s where this novel journey all began. Almost a year ago I took a Short Story class there, and a bunch of us continued meeting for a while. I was so happy! But then the group dissolved, and I was sad. I actually got a lot of support after I posted that blog, most people telling me to find a new group lol. So who knows? Maybe that’s what will happen here. I’m sure I’ll at least find a few more people willing to read my manuscript (whenever it’s done).
The class is led by a woman named Barbara Esstman. She’s published a couple of novels, and they both were turned into TV movies—pretty cool! There is a wide range of progress/skills, and I’m right in middle (thank goodness). To my surprise, my biggest problem has been the fact that the class is for both novels and memoirs. On the first day we went around explaining our projects and a woman said she was writing a sci-fi piece. Of course I asked her if it was a novel or memoir! So embarrassing! A memoir about a teenage alien! Then this week we read someone’s piece that I thought was a novel, but it was really a memoir. I didn’t even give her the comments. I’ll have to read it again through a different lens. Anyway, I’m on deck next week. As of now, I have about 20,000 words written, and I submitted the first 35 pages. I’m actually really nervous about this because, unlike with my short stores when I kind of free-wrote, I put some real thought into the pages I submitted this time around. Thankfully, most of the people in the class are women because that’s who I’m trying to speak to. Anyway, I’m enjoying the class. Good discussions. Also, I’m realizing that editing and commenting on other people’s work is as valuable to my writing as any other tool or practice. I’ll let you know how my critique goes! Have a great weekend!