I had my mid-semester meeting with my writing teacher today, which I was dreading, if for no other reason than that per my experience with the format, it resembles something like a pop quiz ("What takes your attention? Circle it! Circle it!"), something that normally just makes me feel stressed out.
Instead, it turned into a free-form discussion of my writing, what I want to accomplish, what works, what I should rethink, how I should think about where to take things from here.
He asked me how I felt I ranked in the class, and for a flashing moment I considered a numerical ranking ("somewhere ahead of chick X, but way behind dude Z"), but I just said that I thought I rocked pretty well at the sentence level, but that I thought I needed help with the bigger picture and where to take things, how to move the story along, and so forth. Have a few people cut you off as you run off on a tangent while telling a story, and you develop a complex. Anyway, he told me he thought I had it all down and was one of the strongest writers in the class.
So, I have been given special dispensation to shelve the big project for the class (my small-town U.S.A. yarn) in favor of completing a couple of stories that he thinks I can get into publishable form. Which is awesome by me.