I’m a writer and still cannot find words to describe how nervous I was about attending my first live RWA chapter meeting. After six years attending meetings ‘virtually’ through my online chapters, I thought, who was I – a still unpublished wannabe – to attend a live gathering of accomplished writers?
However, in one moment of bravado, I leapt out of my comfort zone, and joined Long Island Romance Writers, whose members, by the way, meet monthly. In person. I even committed to attend their March meeting.
When I got there, and peeked into the room, I saw the women who had gathered – so writerly in their posture. Reading and talking. Laughing in a way that showed their comfort with each other. Comfort with themselves.
What was I thinking? Meeting true writers was one thing. Calling myself a writer while in their company was another.
I thought to leave when a woman with a friendly smile and confident stride brushed by and opened the door. I had a choice. Banish the jitters or forever hide behind my fictional world.
I went inside and was instantly greeted with warmth, understanding and enthusiasm. Newbies and seasoned authors chatted like friends, sharing opinions, advice and concerns. No one was left out and certainly no one, including myself, left feeling second rate. The wannabe in me no longer existed. Instead, I felt like I belonged to something wonderful where I would be challenged, accepted and welcomed.
The only downside was that I hadn’t taken the leap sooner.