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.