The plunge. Take it?

I stand on the edge of a cliff. Behind me is safety. Before me is quite the opposite. The plunge ends in a pool, but I can’t tell how deep the water is. Maybe it would cushion my dive, or maybe I would slam into the bottom and break my bones. One foot is over the edge. I could just let myself fall.

* * * * *

I’m considering joining a critique group. I was a part of Critters years ago. I never actually submitted anything of my own there, but I did some critiques of others’ works.

My reasons are twofold. Firstly, when I actually get around to writing something finally, it would be good to get an outside perspective on it. Secondly, and this is the part that relates to that bit at the very top of this post, I thought it might be good for me to socialize with other writers. Socialize as in seeing someone in person and speaking to them with my voice. Yeah, social intercourse in the flesh.

It may not seem revolutionary, but for me, it is. I am shy. I daresay cripplingly so. People who have known me for some time may forget this, because if I know you and like you, I am much more open. But if I do not know you, and if I am in a strange situation, chances are I will close up tighter than an oyster during pearl season.

I found a local critique group on Meetup, and even better, one which focuses on speculative fiction. I even went so far as to join the group. Turns out they meet every week.

See, I expected maybe bimonthly or monthly. Don’t these people have lives? Who meets every week, man? At least if I had a few extra weeks to psych myself up, I could go to one of their meetings in some sort of comfort. But now, knowing how soon a meeting is, I am backpedaling. Comfort zone violated. Abort, abort! Full retreat!

I’m not saying I’ll never go, mind you. Maybe I’ll even go to this week’s meeting rather than putting it off until a future one. Still, it freaks me out. I’m just supposed to walk in there? Do I introduce myself, or expect them to recognize me from my photo? Should I hide in the corner the first time and just watch them? Is it like a fraternity, and I have to do some humiliating pledge thing?

Maybe an online group would be better after all?

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