A kick in the pants was delivered to an online critique group I recently joined and it totally stressed me out. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that my experience with critique groups has been kind of...unsavoury.

When I was invited to join a newly developed group, I was terrified and excited at the same time. For me, that's a sure sign of something very cool. So I signed up, not even realizing that the commitments I already had lined up were neatly balanced and this latest addition would bring that glorious pyramid of duties tumbling down.

It crashed, I burned.

Through no fault of its own, this new commitment simply freaked me out. Even though the guidelines were well thought out and the online system rocked, my heart sank when I saw the "maximum of three submissions a week" line item.

Three submissions a week? Who did they think we were? Writers or something?

After employing the technique of breathing into a paper bag before checking my email, I tried to keep up. It only took a week for me to realize I didn't even qualify for a copy of the home game.

Then the activity on the loop slowed right down. To my speed.

That's when the "kick in the pants" message came around, urging us to get back on our horses and submit, critique and submit some more. My paper bag had already been placed into the recycling bin and breathing into my cupped hands just couldn't make the pressure go away.

So I caved. Backed out faster than Thelma and Louise.

Hopefully I'll be able to return, but right now I have to get all those other projects up off the floor again. :::searches frantically for duct tape:::