The Next Step for my NaNoWriMo

Last night was an interesting night. I had read in the newspaper the other day that the local writer’s network was having their monthly meeting, and that the topic was going to be Writing Groups. It sounded interesting and a possible opportunity for me to get in touch with other writers in my area, but I doubted I would be able to go. Still, I stored the information in what little memory I have left, shoving out some useless baseball statistics or something. Wait a minute, where are my keys?

Anyhow, I got home from work last night and while I was helping change my daughter’s diaper (which is an event unto itself now that she can kick her legs, spin around, and do all sorts of other funny things) I mentioned the writer’s meeting to my wife. At first she said something like “that’s nice” and we let it go. We went downstairs and I cooked dinner. Don’t be too impressed by my cooking. I simply heated up a couple ham steaks on the oven and a can of corn. This is the life of the parents of a toddler.

As we were eating my wife began saying things like, “you should go to that meeting”. By the time we were finished she was practically pushing me out the door. I felt guilty leaving her and my daughter because I spend the whole day away from them. Still, I was determined to see what this writing group was all about.

The meeting was in the local library. As I parked the car and walked towards the library, my stomach was doing stomachy things. I always get nervous being the new person in a group of people that already know each other. If you want things in life, sometimes you have to do things that make you nervous, right? I ignored the feeling in my stomach and continued into the library. The meeting was to start at 7:00 and I got there at 7:00. There were two empty seats and about fifty people. I was going to have to sit up front. Drat!

I scanned the faces of my fellow writers. I was the youngest there, but most everybody looked friendly. The meeting began with some quick introductions and then representatives from six or so writing groups (critique groups) talked about their groups, how their meetings work, how often they meet, and what their goals are. I wrote down information about the groups I was interested in, wondering what my next move would be. Nearly all the groups talked about helping each other become better writers, helping with query letters, giving praise and criticism, and so forth. Some of the people kept talking about forming new groups if the ones “on stage” were full, but I would much rather join a group that has been established rather than having to feel my way through creating a new group as well as fumbling through my writing.

They left a few minutes at the end of the meeting to network with people, which is really scary when you know no one.  I knew I would kick myself if I left that meeting without joining a group, and I didn’t want that.  First of all it would hurt.  Second of all, how do you really kick yourself?I put it in my mind that I would go up and talk with the person representing the group which seemed like the best fit for me, a Young Adult genre group (they actually do YA, as well as younger kids books).

My stomach was a wreck, but I did muster the courage to talk with the Young Adult representative.  I first asked if they had an openings and she said yes.  In fact, she was worried that since there weren’t any questions asked of her, there was no interest.  We had a good conversation.  I talked about my NaNoWriMo adventure and all of that.

The next meeting is this coming Monday.   The group meets once a month in different member’s houses.  I am just so excited about this.  Somehow, this makes me feel like a real writer.

So, this means that I will be getting back to my NaNoWriMo project, something that I know will make at least Diane happy.  I will keep you all posted on how the writing group goes.  Sorry for the long post 🙂