I was at a coffee shop last weekend with Twister (Twin Sister). Coffee, coffee cake cupcake, more coffee, and basically more coffee.
We were discussing things about writing:
- jump start productivity
- start a project you haven’t worked on in a long time (sometimes years)
- decide how to move forward with a nebulous plot
- discover what themes you are inadvertently addressing and that you want to address
While we were mid-discussion, a group of people pulled together a few tables beside us. A few people gathered over time, and it ended up being a table with about 7 people.
Because I’m a secret ninja spy with terrible eavesdropping skills, I maintained a super level of coolness with Twister whilst occasionally turning my ear to their table.
They discussed Divergent books and movie adaptations, character development, the risks and rewards of second person POV, and past experiences they had with critiques. And one of them was drawing something for her book, and it was GORGEOUSLY FANTASTIC. I wanted to snag a picture of that picture, but I felt leaning over and snapping a photo was probably a step too far.
Yes, I was probably listening more than I should have.
(To be fair, they were literally one foot away.)
((To be additionally fair, it wasn’t so much “intentional eavesdropping” as it was “overhearing words someone is speaking one foot away in the natural lulls of conversation”))
Basically, what I had stumbled onto was OTHER WRITERS. Out in the real, proper world! IN THE WILD. Wild Writers, as it were.
Putting aside the narration in my head (a la: here we are in the natural habitat of the elusive Writing Group–the coffee shop. If we’re quiet, we might just see them in their natural social habits), I spent a good chunk of my outing working up the nerve to say HI.
Not just because I wanted to try to encourage Twister to see if she could join, and not just because I wanted to confirm to them that I’m a pseudo lunatic writer who semi-stalked them through their group meeting. But because I wanted to be brave and say hello.
Writers can be an introverted breed.
So more than anything, I wanted to take a measured brave step toward How To Human.
Just like blogging, writing, public speaking, traveling, taxes, and cooking, it takes practice.
And the conclusion was good, too! I met another writer whose name is Becca. I learned that they were a writer’s group from a (relatively) local library. I got a dash of contact details.
I thought I would be nervous or afraid to speak to them. Granted, as Twister so very helpfully pointed out IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR INTRODUCTIONS, I successfully completed my transformation to a red, red tomato.
BUT! I found, at the end, that I wished I had spoken up earlier, as opposed to getting last minute details before leaving. Not that they would have appreciated me muscling in on their group, but it would have been nice to do a general info-trade. Like what genres or story forms we write, how long we’d been writing, everyone’s real name and such.
So at the end of it all, I wasn’t regretful of my nerves or fear, I only regretted that I hadn’t been brave sooner.
Which, I think, is something most of us can say about bravery and regret.