Tell me, are you like me? An introvert, living in a very extroverted world?
If you are, then you know how exhausting it is. How draining. How sometimes you just need to curl up under a blanket with your favorite mug and a book and just *not.*
I joined a writer’s group because I was lonely, stuck in my own head and feeling really down about my work.
On the eve before my first meeting, social anxiety kicked in. HARD. I think some other things were going on that day – I can’t remember what exactly. I just know that knowing I was signed up to go meet new people and talk for 2.5 hours was enough to push me over the edge, and I started crying.
I did not go to that first meeting.
But I did go to the next one.
Of course, I loved it.
But it was exhausting – I got home and vegged out. I didn’t even bring something of my own to read. It was just the fact of being *on*; of being fully attentive, of giving good, solid feedback, of looking at the mess these people have created and trying to help them get a story out of it.
When that meeting ended, I was told that in order to be part of the group I would have to show up to at least one meeting every month. Of course this would be easy – were it not for the fact that there is only one meeting for the month of December, my parents having just lost their house to bankruptcy and moving, my cat dying, my lizard having surgery, my other cat having an allergic reaction to something that made him so itchy he almost tore out all his fur, my having taken in a foster kitty that needs a lot of work, my needing to finish writing another short story for submission, and my workplace being super busy and hectic because of the up-coming holidays.
I really only have energy for so much, and the time between the last meeting and this one was filled with total and utter chaos.
I need a day. More than a day – I need time. Time I will take when I find it.
So I sent the group leader an email, apologizing for my absence and begging her to let me come to groups in the new year, when things have (hopefully) calmed down a little for me.
Let’s see what she says.
Hey, maybe I’ll form my own writer’s critique group: how does “Women Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers of Cleveland” sound?