My big writing decision

July 6, 2007 at 2:09 pm | Posted in career, Meg, writing | Leave a comment

My big writing decision occurred in 2006: I came out of the closet. I don’t mean to offend anyone by borrowing this phrase, but it fits my experience of sharing my secret life as a writer.

Prior to 2006, I had been furtive in my writing. Never telling anyone, even my family, that I spent hours putting words onto the page. Why? Embarrassment of admitting I write, anxiety about what people thought, fears of not being good enough, concern about not being taken seriously, etc. All these emotions kept me from broadcasting to the world that I loved to plot, characterize and string together sentences.

Then it all changed when I decided to take a risk and attend my first RWA conference. Surrounded by over two hundred women and men who loved to write, I felt like I had found ‘my people’. My tiny part of the world where I could lament about when my characters refused to talk to me and not worry about getting suggestions that I go on medication for hearing voices.

The support and acceptance I received at this first conference (with Jessica being the first friendly face I encountered) allowed me to take the brave step in telling family and friends about my writing. I’ve even let people read my stuff. And just this week I had a cookout where my writing friends got together with my husband’s friends. Sure I was concerned about what they thought about our being romance writers. I’m sure they found it amusing and laughed about it, but we enjoyed joking that they were research subjects for a new series we’re co-writing! I don’t think they laughed after that!

So if you’re still in that writing closet, surreptitiously hiding your documents under code names on your computer, decide to take the risk and tell someone you write! Tell us! Then find a RWA chapter meeting near you to meet other aspiring authors. Or if you don’t write romance, there are other groups online, do a search and get out there. Writing is a gift and you need to share it with others.

It still brings a bit of anxiety and blush to my face when I talk about my writing to others outside my tiny writing world, but I’m proud to admit I have completed two novels. Can most people say that?

–Meg

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