On the first evening of the Highlights Foundation Whole Novel Workshop, we were asked to tell a story about our writing lives. Mine was a long and rambling tribute to the World’s Greatest Critique Group. Several weeks later, I realized this story is more to the point.
One day when Jeremy was in middle school, he teased me about my physical condition by tweaking the loose skin on my upper arms. He did not use a rude or disrespectful term like “bingo wings.” I told the story at critique group, fully expecting to be told my arms looked great. Instead, they gave me a set of weightlifting exercises to correct the problem. I still do them every morning.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, this is an extended metaphor for the writing process.