One of the major hurdles for me in my writing is handling criticism. I know and understand that constructive criticism is important and can help me develop, but it is still difficult for me not to feel like any criticism of my writing--down to the obvious grammar and spelling errors--is not personal criticism. Recognizing this knee-jerk reaction and trying to ready myself for those situations where it's inevitable helps a little bit, but I haven't overcome my anxiety entirely.
But the party on Saturday helped me realize that I've made some improvements on this front. I freely admitted to Crazy Mumma's better half that ultimately I would like to be doing some serious creative writing, but that I don't have the time or focus to follow through on even a short story right now; yes, it's something I'd like to do more of in the future, but blogging allows me to keep practicing my craft without the pressure of a major product.
Another interesting moment, replayed with variations, was the apology from another blogger that they don't know/read my blog. I think at one point in my writing development, that would have crushed me. But as I stood there, meeting and talking to this amazing array of women, it just didn't matter to me--it didn't feel like a negation of my value, just a simple fact of life. (Ok, so maybe it helped that I was in the same boat; so many blogs I need to check out now!)
And there were many moments that made me feel very good about what I'm doing here. It's nice to have an accurate mental image of the women I'm in conversation with. As I said in a comment somewhere, many people did not look like I expected, but I can't tell you what exactly I did expect. Not only did I get to meet many of the women I've been admiring online, but I discovered that I have my own admirers. I haven't fully processed that yet, but I'm working on it. Nonetheless, one of the true ego-boosting moments was being introduced to Something Baby Blue, and when I shyly explained, "I'm Mouse, my site is the Mouse's Nest," having her respond, "Yes, I know your blog." OK, so from StatCounter I know that I have some readers who don't comment, I just hadn't thought about actually meeting them.
So I'm feeling a bit revitalized and looking forward to bringing you some posts that reflect this.