Peer Review by PureHeart (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)()

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Social Anxiety

By: halcyon


I know that I should speak.

The idea begins like a whisper. The mist that curls up around a sunny glade until nothing is left but shadow, and all that can be heard is the ringing of some far off bell. It is the temptation of risk: a moving object gaining speed and momentum as the idea grows. A wish that rushes towards fruition, until it sees the jump it must take to do so.

The words hang on the edges of my lips like a careening vehicle balanced on the edge of a cliff, tottering to-and-fro o’er the sea that roars beneath it. Indecision. Suspense. Moments that stretch into long, heart pounding hours, in which it seems the danger only grows.

There are two options here, and I know both of them. One is leaning forward over the abyss, and letting myself free fall into the insecure belief that something will catch me. It is the thrill of feeling death before safety, and the terrifying attempt to stop myself once I have committed. It is pounding worry and sweaty hands. Long, long minutes.

The other option is to remain quiet. To slowly pull back from the cliff, retreating into whatever lies behind. Feeling the rush of safety return, and the oxygen flood my lungs, is a beautiful letdown. But the “what if” continues, and the desire to jump off the same cliff as those I know. The human longing for someone to cheer as I fall, to catch me in safety and listening replies at the end. After I refuse to jump, I often wish that I did.

In class, I know that I should speak.

In which I am in a creative writing club during lunch, and too anxious to talk to those around me. So I write this piece of prose instead. 

Peer Review

Really loving this. I've been trying to look for a writing piece such as this. You expanded on your thinking fully. You made sure the readers could understand what you are feeling. I love how you consistently included the senses: 'the ringing of some far off bell,' ''it is a pounding worry and sweaty hands,' and 'feeling the rush of safety return.' Most people fail to use the senses, keeping them close in mind. But you used them throughout your piece, and it made the feeling you were trying to convey much more effective.

Honestly, I don't really have anything for you to work on. You used the senses, emotive language, metaphors; the whole lot. Perhaps, if I had to be REALLY picky, I would say use a variety of sentence openers, like frontal adverbials, for an example.

Reviewer Comments

The way you captured a specific moment, a specific feelings, and be able to expand on that feeling and convey it creatively is a true art. You write with such eloquence and you have a very sophisticated way of conveying your point. Keep up the great work!