Last night was the first meeting of a small group of writers in my life, some amazing and wonderful fellow homeschoolers and a couple of glorious folks from A Weekend With Your Novel. Despite the numerous and compelling reservations many of us had about our physical ability to take on one more thing, we all carved a few hours out of our cold January evening to come together and engineer a plan for an ongoing writers’ group. We lead ridiculously busy lives and come from far too many miles apart, but in the final analysis, we all felt a deep enough need for this to happen to show up.
Step one, showing up, complete.
Some of us meeting one another for the first time, we talked about our experiences, writing and beyond, what we were all looking for in a group, and how we could mold ourselves to meet the needs of everyone. And surprisingly, it seemed to me that we came up with a loose plan that has great potential for doing just that. We’re going for a kind of hybrid approach, meeting every other month for much-needed facetime and in-person feedback and sharing, and utilizing the power of technology to keep in touch in the months between, checking in, sharing pages and resources, soliciting help, collaborating, and generally getting to know one another as writers. We’ll rehash in between, make any needed in-flight adjustments, and keep right on a-truckin. Shouldn’t take long to find a good groove.
Step two, a plan, complete.
I am excited. I am excited to spend a few moments per year with other writers, a precious few hours with nothing on the agenda but our writing. To get to know them and their artistic sides, and to see how they work, in and through the hubbub of their daily lives. I am looking forward to encouraging one another, learning a few things, and stretching ourselves in a few ways we might not stretch alone. And I am grudgingly excited to have an outside force driving me along a little. A carrot-holder, if you will.
Fear and trepidation fall in stride with my excitement, though, when I realize that it is time to let some other people into my writing world. Not just random people from far away, whom I may or may not ever see again, but real people in my real life. People who I cherish as friends and companions. People who I have known for years and who, Lord-willing, I will be close to for many years to come. Paralyzing, the thought of wedding the contents of my writing closet, thus far safely removed from all else by at least a few degrees, to my normal, everyday life.
But I am sure that beyond that threshold is more light and more growth and more possibility, with new horizons I can’t get to without crossing over. It is fairly certain that at some point I am going to have to identify myself as a writer, even to those who have never known me as one. No better time than the present, right?
Although I do secretly wonder sometimes if it would be possible to lead these two lives independently, with no crossover whatsoever, and neither side being aware of the others’ existence. Wouldn’t that just be the cat’s meow? I can hear the psychoanalysts in the crowd now – I am well aware, thank you very much, of my fear of failure. Still, I can dream.
But after the dream, I’ll wake up and go to my writers’ group, bear my very soul on paper and ink, and emerge on the other side of the fear, one step closer to a whole, not-so-conflicted-as-to-border-on-aspiring-bipolar, person. Imagine the possibilities. So away we go… It’s bound to be another great adventure.
Step three, complete incorporation of two separate lives living in one body, in progress…