Summer Writing School: I am 1 of 12 and so nervous

This summer I will be 1 of 12 participants going to summer writing school with Kelley Armstrong as our teacher. This workshop is tough to get into. They've filled Kelley Armstrong's class, and opened a second group to be lead by Eve Silver. I have until June 15 to get my 20 pages submitted in time to be workshopped.

I am so nervous about this.

There are many levels of nerves here for me. 1. I'm an introvert. Socializing is going to be very tough on me. 2. I'm incredibly shy about sharing my writing face-to-face, especially if I have to read it out loud. I shake so bad it's hard to hear me. 3. I'm nervous about having to drive in and out of Toronto every day for a week. I have travel anxiety. I'm going be afraid of missing my exit or being late or finding a parking spot or just plain driving on the 401.

I'm not sure which part I'm scared about most.

At this point I'm just hoping for the best of everything and to learn as much as I can. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I hope to make the best of it.

Other than the travel anxiety, I think what I have is not so much a fear of failure as it is a fear of being confirmed as a non-talent. A fear of everyone else being better than me. A fear of everyone finding out that I don't "think on the spot" and will end up looking "dumb". I definitely fear not being smart enough or talented enough.

So I have until June 15 to get my writing sample turned in and until July 16 to get my act together, suck it up and just do it.

Any advice?

Wise Words from Ira Glass; and where did my confidence go?

I came across this video on another blog and had to share. So much of what I've been feeling is addressed here in under two minutes.

[vimeo w=400&h=225]
Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

I was at a critiquing workshop on the weekend, and in the weeks leading up to it, I asked myself why I felt I needed to go, why after all these years of writing and critiquing I still struggled with editing my work. The answer that came to mind was that I felt I knew what I was doing, but I lacked confidence in doing it. I have good words, I have all the parts of story captured on the page, my writing instincts are dead on... but when it comes to the execution, I second guess myself. I start assuming the reader isn't going to understand what I mean (this is entirely the fault of bad critiques, by the way) so I over-explain.

At the workshop, I shared 5 pages with 4 other people including 1 multi-published, NYT-bestselling author, and with those 5 pages, the author wisely pointed out that I was both showing and telling, and then she told me to "have confidence in your writing" and to trust the reader to get it.

In 5 pages.

She captured exactly what I'd been feeling lately. I thought, "Whoa. This is bad. My lack of confidence shows on the page?? I have to do something about this." So, I came home and started hacking and chopping and reduced those 5 pages down by half.  I now have a sticky note on my monitor to remind myself to "trust the reader to get it." Those 5 pages are from the opening chapter, which may very well be rewritten. Again. Until I'm happy with it. And the prologue? I've thrown it out.

I don't have the first clue how to develop my confidence on the page-- there will likely be many more blog posts about this-- but I've decided my first act is to chop anything I've put in because I didn't feel the reader would understand. I suspect this is mainly a problem for first few chapters only.

Do you have any advice for me? Any suggestions on developing confidence?