i wasn't convinced that today was the day. i got a solid seven hours of sleep, but a busy weekend left me exhausted and grumpy this morning. i wasn't in the mood for stepping outside my comfort zone and making today "the day" i made my impression in creative writing class. i was hoping modcloth model might forget that it was my turn to read out loud but with forty minutes left in class, she decided we were going to take some time out of class for people to read out loud. ugh. she asked for the first volunteer and sitting in the very front row directly in front of her, i averted my eyes and waited for someone else to pipe up. of course, no one did. i looked up and she was smiling at me and asked me wasn't it your turn?
without looking behind me at an entire class of creative writers just as if not more infatuated with literature as i am and writing it, i started reading. my belt was too tight around my dress and i felt myself talking too fast and having to take awkward breaths at the beginning of each sentence. i was nervous. and then something remarkable happened. three sentences in, i heard laughter. and in the next paragraph, moans and groans as i described the disgusting food at our cafeteria. and more laughter when i described the stereotypical college student in a cafeteria. and more laughter when i rudely critiqued college culture throughout the story. by the time i reached the second page, i was smiling as i was reading, anxious to get to the next part. people were laughing but they were also listening to me. as i reached the last line, i wasn't nervous or shaky anymore. i said the word 'fuck' out loud in front of my writing class and the entire room erupted in laughter at the punch line of the entire story.
modcloth model was more than just smiling, i couldn't ignore that. she was beaming. and clapping. and she said that it was wonderful and set the bar for how the rest of the class should be approaching their writing. she asked for critique from the room, and more than half of the class chimed in and contributed with nice words. i sat there with my hands over my face and i almost think it's more difficult to hear people say nice things rather than mean things to you. it was just a small assignment, something i started without knowing how it would end but gradually found hooks in different characters until they were speaking for themselves. i didn't spend more than fifteen minutes on my first draft. it was really, really nothing special but something i cared about, too. it was the first thing i've written since the first day that made me so excited about the class in the first place.
we didn't get to anyone else. modcloth model lectured the class using my piece as an example of how to approach all of these themes, techniques, and ideas in their stories that i really didn't even intentionally mean to use as a creative writing approach to tell my story.
i didn't think i was ready and i didn't want to do it, but it was my day.