Yesterday was my first meeting with the Houston Writer's Guild. Before the meeting, I was a little apprehensive about going. All day I kept telling myself that it was no big deal, and that people joined totally rock awesome writing clubs all the time. But despite my half hearted pep talks, I still I couldn't quite suppress feeling like I was the new kid going to my first day of school. Am I wearing the right shoes? Did I brush my teeth? What if nobody likes me??
I know. I'm a sissy. Laugh it up.
My biggest fear was that I would be the only "Under 50" member at the meeting. For some reason, this bothered me. Like I might be intruding on some kind of highly exclusive senior citizens writing club. And I must say, if anyone from said writing club actually read this post, they'd probably get a real kick out of the fact that I thought everyone would be old.
You see writing--unlike other industries, for instance bikini modeling--is no respecter of age. Any age is the right age to write, and the writers guild was no different. There were people ranging all the way from my "24-but-I-look-like-I'm-16" baby face, to an old guy named Jon Hawthorne who, when I walked up to the group said:
"I want the pretty girl to sit next to me!"
Out of the mouth of a totally wasted college drop out, this might sound a tad creepy. But coming from a cute old man?
The only thing better would have been if he had called me "luv" with a British accent.
(By the way... "Hawthorne"... great name for a writer, right?!)
Anyway, at these meetings, group members have the opportunity to bring sections of their book for critique. Being the newbie, and not having yet paid my membership fee, I didn't bring any of my book for critique. Nonetheless, I was quite happy to sit next to Mr. Hawthorne and read sections of everyone else's work. It was great fun, and definitely an evening well spent.
Currently my only remaining apprehension is actually having to read part of my book out loud to everyone. A totally painful experience. Those of you who have tried it know what I'm saying... its like putting your heart and soul out into the middle of Times Square for well-meaning tourists to trample all over.
Better just grin and take it, I suppose.
After all, like the saying goes: what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger.