Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On Not Attending That Meeting

As I retreat farther and farther away from normal activity w/r/t writing, the web sure is a big help. In an attempt to be involved in that thing called the outside world ( meet with writers, readings, Rogers Park, Chicago) I’ve “joined” several Meetup.com groups, maybe left a tiny scrawl on the message board, then chickened out when the event time rolled around and didn’t go.

I attended a single meeting of a local writer’s group. And had a great time and met some people and learned their names. And then I chickened out and didn’t go.

I pass the Mess Hall almost daily and see a sign for the Next Objectivists Poetry Meeting. And I am joyous and excitement abounds. And then I’m too nervous to go into a room with people I don’t know and just imagine walking in and sitting down and desperately wanting—as I always do in new spaces—ask the Captain Obvious question “Is this the [insert name of event going on] meeting?” Well of course it is! But that is the only ice breaker I can conjure. I wish I had better ice breakers. (How much does a polar bear weigh?)

Yes, indeed, I am only hurting myself. Yes, indeed, I’d like to retreat into anonymity. But abandon the perks onymity has to offer?

If you search the internet, scour it enough, I bet you’ll find the traces of places where I’ve been but never went.


Kelly Kathleen Ferguson said...

Make Anna go with you. Then you can sit and feel awkward together. Or post on craiglist, "poet socialphobe seeks same for codependent relationship." Except you would never email one another to follow up. Oh dear, this is difficult.

Trina said...

Call me an enabler, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with hermitude.

Sasha said...

Onymity has perks, but so does solitude. Maybe you're going through a (re: writing) transition, and you need to listen *solely* to your own voice?

Of course, I haven't had the best experience with local writers' groups/Meetup groups myself.

The thing that worked for me was taking a class at the writing center. Because I'm a cheap-ass, I felt like I had to go every week to get my money's worth...and over the course of eight weeks, I realized the class *was* worth the money, esp. in terms of meeting people I wouldn't have had time to warm up to otherwise. $250 well-spent :)