Fantasies of Quitting

I want to quit my fiction-writing workshop at least once a week. I love the workshop. I've met some talented writers, and everyone in there is passionate about their work. But each week, I want to quit going.

Two weeks ago, I wanted to quit because I hadn't written my chapter yet. I wrote the chapter and everything went fine. But only after I went through all of the uncertainty of wanting to quit.

Tonight, I want to quit because I just wrote my critiques of several other students' chapters. I did just over a page for each person, then got on e-mail to send it to everyone. After I sent it, I read everyone else's critiques ... and they were generally brief and mostly positive. I definitely had postive comments in the critiques I wrote, but I also pointed out anything I thought was an issue or a distraction. And, as I said, I wrote about a page per person.

No, I don't regret writing what I did. It would be dishonest for me to write, "Brilliantly written! Don't change a word!" if that's not what I'm thinking. At the same time, I wonder if I'm being a bit harsh. When I was grading papers last year, I was being paid to be harsh. I'm not now, but ... I guess I'm just feeling a bit of what my students felt last year when I put them into peer-editing pairs.

No, I'm not going to quit the workshop, even though I have to miss tomorrow night's class because I'm in Ohio.


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