|Photo by Matt Shouse|
This morning, I read a review on Back to McGuffey’s (why do I do that to myself?) that said it wasn’t the worst book the reviewer had ever read. Ouch. This week, I got a painful rejection. Ouch. It’s snowing and while it’s very pretty, the truth is I’m over it. Ouch. While I’m at it, I tripped on my back porch step the other day and landed on my knee. Ouch, ouch, ouch!
Anyone feel sorry for me yet? No? Oh, good, because there’s absolutely no reason to.
Also this week, I spoke on characterization to a writers' group at Barnes & Noble in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I am by no means a public speaker, but I love writing, I love characterization, and I love bookstores. I also love coffee shop coffee, and the barista was less than ten feet from me. I like motels (because I don’t have to make the bed) and I spent the night in a nice one with good wi-fi and all-the-time coffee and tea.
There is no way I’m going to make sense in this post, is there? Didn’t think so. But let me keep trying.
The group I spoke to was wonderful. They were engaged, respectful, and friendly. Their chosen
|Photo by Matt Shouse|
To get to the making-sense part...I never thought my life would be like this. That anyone I wasn’t related to would ever want to hear what I had to say. That staying in a motel would be not a big deal. That I would use the word “barista” without giving it a second thought. That I would have written books that people actually reviewed. That I would have the writer friends I have and share the conversations I get to share.
Oh, the good times. They so far outdistance the ouches that it's not even a contest.
And now for the advice. You knew you wouldn’t escape, didn’t you? It’s about writers’ groups. Or quilting groups. Or just an out-to-lunch-bunch group. They are wonderful things. Being introverted is pretty much the nature of the beast when it comes to writers, but when we’re together, the intro part extras all over the place. When you’re with a group—whichever one—it doesn’t make you exclusive or snooty or any of those things; what it makes you is comfortable. You might not like everybody—that’s fine; no one’s asking you to move in together. You might hate what some of the people do. That’s fine, too—all you have to do is respect their love for it. But it’s still comfortable. It’s belonging. It’s learning. So give it a try. I hope it’s fun.