Last night was the first meeting of my new writing group. I realized last night when I was talking to G - that some people may not actually know what I am talking about when I say "writing group". Since this is my first one - I'm not exactly sure what's supposed to go down, but here is what I understand of it. The group leader provides a lesson/discussion on a topic of writing interest for the group, then the second half of the meeting time is for sharing our writing and critiquing.
Since last night was the first meeting we discussed "thinking like a writer" and how to turn ideas into stories. Then we went around the table and introduced ourselves. Everyone was pretty un-intimidating. A woman getting ready for retirement who wanted to get back in to her writing, the next two women had never written anything but wanted to learn, followed by two stay at home moms who just like writing and wanted to work their adult brains in their "free time" . Then there came the stay-at-home mom sitting to my left, she's got three children, the youngest six months old, but she's had four articles accepted by The Friend, she entered a letter writing contest put on by some New York Times Best selling author who thought her letter was brilliant and said so on the TV clip he mailed to her because he was disappointed that she didn't win, and then she was also asked to write for some Mormon Mommy blog. I was already nervous about my moment to just talk about myself. I just kept waiting for her to STOP talking about her success because ALL the people before had helped me to feel more comfortable but she was making me MORE nervous.
She finally stopped and I looked at the leader, Lana, and said, "I have to follow that? Are you kidding?" I didn't even tell them my name right away because I was so thrown off, they had to remind me. So I just quickly summed up my writing life and leaned back further in my chair. Then the woman on my right was the last and she was more like the others - just getting in to writing and wants help writing down the story she has in her head.
Despite having to follow the star pupil of the group, I had a good time. It will take me a bit to warm up to these people - 1) I'm not that great at hanging out with a group of women 2) I am trying to figure out how I fit in with these writing moms 3) They seem to LOVE children's books and I'm more teen/YA so I'm worried they are going to hate my stuff and think it's too dark/violent (yes - violent...are you surprised by that? You shouldn't be).
Next meeting is in a month - I'm trying to decide what to share with the group.