O Shaudenfreud, Shaudenfreud...

Writing Group #1 got back underway last night, thank god. Great to see everyone and get back into the work ... Mostly, though, it was nice to hear that two of the most productive people in the group recently suffered terrible crises of confidence, not because I wish them the brain-gnashing, pill-popping agonies that I experienced last week, but because it's a HUGE RELIEF to know people I consider together and motivated and talented -- hugely talented -- are feeling stymied in the ways that I so often let myself feel stymied. Crises of confidence make you feel completely alone, the least talented hack in the universe -- nice to know you have a group of comrades in the trenches with you, experiencing the same things. And nice to know they push through it. For this reason, I say, all writers: Get thee to a writing group! Even if you don't need deadlines, and feel completely comfortable with where your work is or is going, (and if so, you're lying, admit it), the comraderie and "been there-ness" is incredibly incredibly important for those of us who choose to work alone in our tiny quiet rooms.

And remember:

Crises of confidence are like depressive episodes, in that YOU ALWAYS GET THROUGH THEM and IT ALWAYS GETS BETTER, but it's impossible to know or see that when you're experiencing crises like that.

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