So I was rummaging through some old files and found an article that I submitted to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette entitled, "From Israel to Pittsburgh," that I wrote back in 2007 during our first few months in Pittsburgh.
This part especially speaks to me:
I thought the other workshop participants would think I was this completely "foreign" person from Planet "Zonko." Yes, Zonko. I tried to imagine myself writing about something completely different like "motherhood," or my first year experiences teaching - something a little more generic, like "I get it" without isolating anyone.
But the story kept nudging and nudging me. It needed to be "born" and when I tried to "stop" it, the words kept coming.
This is a sign for anybody reading this, that if you want to write a story, you really do need an iota of inspiration, but to pay attention to the nudges, those voices that say, "This is IT."
It took more than 6 months of finally feeling comfortable sharing my life story with the others. As my writing improved, so did their understanding. Not only did I feel I had an audience, which is a MUST if you want to improve as a writer, but I also felt more comfortable writing my story.
The last piece that was critiqued was, "Arriving in Israel - A Mistake," where I describe the first 16 hours of arriving on a kibbutz in the Negev Desert to join a bunch of new olim hadashim, new immigrants in preparation for my army service. The emotions that emerged from that piece were startling surprising. I wrote in description and feeling mode - the most I had ever done with any piece of writing. I felt tonce again, the fear and isolation as an new immigrant and again, as an outsider to Pittsburgh, this felt even more foreign. Those first 16 hours were scary and they still are. when I think about it But somehow, writing about them, years later, was comforting.
What was even more comforting were the affirmations of the group - "You had me hooked!"
Little did I know, I had found the beginning of my "tribe."