I know what you regular readers are saying. And yes, I did attend a Meetup like this over the summer. But this one was different. Different setup, different group of people, different agenda on my part.
With this Meetup there is an added element of discussion at the end of the evening. We write for an hour and a half, then for an hour we talk about our work, what we wrote that night, and possibly read something. The other one that I attended was just writing, very little discussion. Last night’s appealed more to my sense of needing a group of people. After all, I am a former drama geek. Talking is my comfort zone.
I, as usual, felt a little jittery going to this. But I’m happy to report that it was not nearly as jittery as past group experiences. I’m getting more comfortable with the new, getting used to the uncomfortable, and as a result I’m able to be myself more. So refreshing.
I purposely didn’t bring my computer this time, determined to actually work instead of checking Facebook every few minutes or scanning other people’s blogs. I also am a fan of useless Yahoo stories and celeb gossip, all of which is too tempting when there is free Wi-Fi. I used up the last page of my journal yesterday, so when I sat down with my iced mocha, I was sitting down to not only a blank page, but a whole book of blank pages. Always intimidating.
But I found a groove. I gave myself a few prompts and just wrote for writing sake. I’m trying to focus on the practice of writing, getting out of the idea of publication or someone reading things and just focus on the craft. Being the constant overachiever that I am, I told myself as I walked there that I would read something if the opportunity arose, so my writing was a little strained as a result of that.
When the time came to discuss I found it was easy, really easy to talk with these people. It was so refreshing to just commiserate about how much it sometimes sucks to be sitting with a half finished chapter or story or poem and not know where to go next. We also talked Sci-Fi, Family Guy and the Dr. Seuss exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. Then the convo came back around to our favorite procrastinating tools, mine being Netflix (Damn you Felicity!). And no, I didn’t read. Nothing I wrote spoke to me and I really didn’t feel worth sharing. Surprisingly, I was cool with that.
I’m really glad I attended this. Even if I don’t attend another one (I totally plan on attending another one), I at least had the feeling tonight of not being so alone in the up and down rollercoaster that is a writing practice. It’s a battle that’s mostly been down for me and is slowly making it’s way up again. These things always help.