I have always kept my involvement with writing - and being a writer- on the internet. It's not that I don't tell people that I write - I do. But I don't have an in person writing group or crit group or anything. I went to a Thank God it's Over NaNo party last year and the small turnout left me feeling like the internet was where I belong. That and the ever present social anxiety (yay!).
Last month a neighboring town had a ‘Bookfest’ local writers and writers groups gathered to share and sell and promote. Cool, I thought I could go wander around and see what's out there. I wouldn't have to interact if I wasn't up to it.
Then I saw that the local writers workshop had a booth. They were offering free 10 min sessions of editing. Now I had a dilemma, I could really use a copy editors eyes on my Nth draft to see how far off I was. That meant sitting down and talking to someone- about my writing no less.
I bit the bullet and signed up for a time slot. They were super friendly and seemed genuinely interested in my work and where I was in the process. I couldn't spit out much of an answer. Online I can stop and think and find some confidence to say that I write - I have a few flash collections self-pubbed and have been ghosting writing successfully for about a year now. But did any of the come out of my mouth? Nope. something like -’ well um, I've got this draft. I had a beta reader- they liked it?’ fumbled off my lips. Great.
I was able to sit patiently as the editor marked up my first chapter (not as badly as I had feared!) and gave me some feedback. Another staff member asked how I felt getting feedback (positive or negative) I didn't have much of a reply to that either. Realistically - I am a horse person. We literally pay people to judge us. Feedback - no problem. But that was all locked in my introvert brain until about ten minutes after I left the table.
So wonderful PVWW people, if you happen to read this I really appreciate your editing and one-sided conversation, even if I was fairly unable to add anything to it. All in all, I would love to be the type who wants to convene around a table every month or so and share pages, but that life's just not for me. Thank god for the internet where I can collect writing buddies and keep conversations on the page where I can actually make my brain work.