This past weekend, I had the opportunity to join a group of writers who have recently started coming together. I was apprehensive about how this was all going to go for me. While I have already shouted my newly earned title as a writer here, I had no idea what type of experience the other attendees might have. Surely they would all have much more under their belts than I do. The more I thought about it, the more inferior I felt.
So, the day arrives and I spend the morning preparing. I dropped the kids off and headed into the city with my obsessive compulsive directions written out and tucked under my leg for quick reference. Oh, did I not mention? I’m not a city driver. I panic about what lane I should be in and what to do if I miss the exit I need. And while I love the city itself and dream about restaurant hopping and strolling around every touristy spot, I have no desire to navigate its labryinth of one way streets. Nor do I wish to attempt squeezing my SUV into insufficient parking spaces.
I arrive, blood pressure in check after following excellent directions (obvs) and intervals of deep breathing. I’m the second one there…and I only find this out after asking a girl, who I just assume is there for the same reason. After some more arrive and introductions are made, we grab some chairs and quickly slide into casual conversation. There’s some chat about books we’ve read. Some talk about work they’ve done. We joke. We laugh. And then I wonder….what the hell was I worried about?
So what if these people have more experience? They are incredible people that I can learn a lot from. There was not one moment where I felt like I didn’t fit in. I heard about critique groups and submission processes. We chattered about our own habits. Best of all, I am looking forward to going again.
Even though I have made irreplaceable writing friends on Twitter, having a group of people to meet with in person is a new and exciting trail to blaze. A writer definitely needs other writers. They not only help educate, but also inspire. You can be opened up to all the different ways they tackle their talent. They can sympathize with each others’ frustrations and cheer each others’ successes.
A writer’s world can be a lonely one, with hours spent at desks, in libraries or even huddled in the corner of their favorite coffee shop. We write on our own. We don’t turn to our neighbor in the office to ask them how to get that last metaphor just right. But being able to leave our laptops and notebooks to come together from time to time can show us that for as long as we are alone…we are not alone.