As with all spouses, my husband is subjected to regular recounts of different things I’ve written or new ideas I have on story structure. Like all spouses (myself included), I know he gets bored. He would never admit this, but the “uh-huhs” and “yeahs” that occasionally leak out point to something different.
Lately I’ve been craving a group of people to write with. My thinking is that it will at least allow me the opportunity to not always be alone with my computer. In the best of all worlds, it will allow me the chance to meet other writers that I can beat around ideas with. I imagine it will also allow my husband a break from the daily trials of struggling to get a story started.
Meetup.com is awesome. I’ve heard about it from other users who have had great success and I’ve been meaning to check out their writing groups to see if there are any I could join. I logged on today and discovered that there was one happening tonight. Synchronicity seemed to be on my side today. I immediately had the chance to put yesterday’s resolution to the test. I had intended only to join, but to not take advantage of actually going to a meetup would be to puss out once again.
It was like my first day of school. I felt like my outfit was all wrong and that everyone would make fun of my Care Bears lunchbox. I called my husband and left a message, saying that I needed a boast in confidence. I get so nervous attending things where I don’t know anyone. The little chubby girl inside gets all pouty and whines, “What if no one likes me?” Really, that’s all anyone wants. Love me! Love me! Love me!
Aren’t you jealous of my self confidence? Don’t you wish you had my self love?
I was so jazzed up that I ended up getting off the train 15 minutes early even though it was only a 5 minute walk. I walked a few blocks south and then walked north and still got there 5 minutes early. There was only one other person there, so I introduced myself and sat down, opening up the menu.
Here was my thought process as I scanned the fancy coffee drinks:
“Okay, don’t be weird Denise. Why don’t you ask him about himself? Or maybe you could just look at the menu until someone else shows up. Okay, it’s really quiet. I need to say something. But be careful. You don’t want to come off too perky. Or too sarcastic. Or too eager…”
And on it went until I finally told my brain to shut it’s pie hole and just talked to the guy. Eventually more people showed up and I realized, both through being told and by everyone’s attitudes, that this was really a casual group. Once again, I needed to chill out.
We all ordered and then dug into our work. At first I was hesitant, feeling like someone was going to be looking over my shoulder and criticizing. But, as usual, no one gives a crap. Once I realized that, I was actually able to get a short story written that has been floating around in my head for a few months.
I’m glad that I finally leaped out there and found a group to try out. And I feel so good about one upping my risk and actually attending. Sometimes my brain wages war on my desires, trying to force me into submission and cower back into my pit of self loathing. But I will fight. I will not let the mucky muck win.