I picked up the phone to make the call shortly before Christmas about a year and a half ago. I left a message and waited to hear back from the Instructor who I would come to know as Linda eventually. It seemed like forever before I received the call back, and I wondered why should I bother? I was happily blogging away on my blog, contributing monthly along with a team of writers to a site dedicated to my genre, enjoying online writing communities AND contentedly discontent with my writing. My muse was getting a bit stir crazy, but other than that writing life seemed good.
Finally the return call came, although it was almost a whole month later and I had forgotten I had even desired to stretch myself out of my little writing cave. My muse and I looked at each other quizzically, meh…would we, should we, venture out of our comfort zone?
The voice on the other end of the phone was sing song pleasant, and after a bit of conversation, I knew I would go. Even if it meant stuffing a sock in the mouth of my bossy little muse. I told my soon to be instructor, I would come to see if I was a “good fit” which seemed to satisfy my muse who I could see was plotting to foil my new writing endeavor already. I gave the little minx a wink and nod in hopes of pacifying any overt attempts to stifle my writing in the meantime.
She continued to look at me suspiciously.
I went for the first time January of 2013. I had no idea what I would find, or what I was hoping to find. But whatever it would be, there it was, and there we were. I walked in and pulled up a chair. I do love to meet new people so this was the easy part. A quick look around reminds me I must be older than I thought because this is definitely an older group. I glance down at my muse who is tucked in my purse which sits on the floor and she snickers at me as I try to remember my age. The last time I joined in a writing group was twenty years ago. Crap. I’ve crossed to the other side. I kick the purse further under the table, and join in with small talk and conversation, waiting for the class to begin. Or whatever is to be. Which is slightly unclear to me. I rarely think things through, just sort of show up and dive in. Sink or swim. Or get eaten by sharks. Whatever.
As the class begins, it becomes clear that each writer shares their take on the writing prompt that was given the week before by the instructor. Some writers share off topic. To my horror I realize that reading out loud is how the writers share. Makes perfect sense, right?
One small glitch. My biggest fear is speaking in front of a group. As in speaking, out loud, with eyes upon me. UGH!
I notice my muse climbing out of my purse wearing a wide, gloating smile. I ignore her, and listen as each one shares their own words.
Everyone is gracious. Witty. Lively. I feel myself relaxing. I enjoy listening and ignore my muse who has climbed up onto the table and is walking around mimicking those reading and trying to distract me. I glare at her, hoping no one notices and assumes I am psychotic or worse, rude!
We survive the first get together, receive the next week’s writing prompt and I leave feeling strangely excited, thinking about the interesting stories I have just heard. Wondering if there really might be a place for me, among this diverse group. Wondering if my muse will abandon me.
As I stand up to leave, I think to myself, I can write. But, maybe I don’t have to read out loud. Yeah, that’s it, I tell myself. Maybe I’ll come one more time, just to see. What’s that saying? Feel the fear and do it anyway? That’s it.
That’s when I realize my muse has tied my shoelaces together.
Friends, I look forward to sharing a writing adventure with you in this series about all the reasons why we writers need each other! Stay tuned for this fun journey on the writing life for word lovers of all kinds! Whether you are a closet writer (as I was until 2011) or a polished word connoisseur you will enjoy these upcoming posts. I am looking forward to sharing stories, and some of my writing group friends here in the days ahead. Be ready to be inspired and to smile a lot!
To kick off this new series I am giving away a copy of my local writer’s group Anthology: 2013 – 2014 Anthology by Neighborhood Guild Creative Writers Group . I have 1 very short story and 5 poems included in this publication. It is available for our locals at Wakefield Bookstore. For my faraway friends and fans check out Amazon, and for you all who want a chance to win this compilation enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway (Link Below) !
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Oh and for your listening pleasure and to see for yourself how being part of a local group of fellow writers has freed me from my fear of reading/speaking the written word – join me for a video reading of one my poems from the book!