Writers’ meetup

25 Mar

As I realised that we are already a third of our way into 2013, I was struck by those old familiar thoughts such as ‘What have I actually done in the last 3 months?!’  Cue a semi-frenzied attempt to ‘do’ things that I could look back on and satisfy myself with the thought that I did actually do something other than merely exist during that time.  I am aware that this retrospective way of doing things is probably slightly dysfunctional but it’s all part of my fear that time is slipping away with very little to show for it.  I often have to remind myself to be mindful and that keeping oneself busy does not equate to having a full and enriched life. 

Anyway, last Thursday, I went to a writers’ meetup at a pub, which I had researched previously on the old interweb.  I did this because: i) I thought it would give me a good kick up the backside in terms of disciplining myself with writing as essentially, I am a stubborn, competitive fool; ii) I like to force myself into awkward situations – I’m of the ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ (thanks Kanye) belief, although I know this isn’t necessarily always true and at times, can be destructive; and iii) my friend and I, after a spate of recent rubbish nights out, have decided to initiate a Project NANO (Not Another Night Out) where we try to experiment with doing different things during the evening other than the typical seedy bar or noisy club. 

The experience was enjoyable, if somewhat surreal.  There was a crowd of fifteen to twenty people there and I came a little later than the advertised time so I didn’t have to endure that ‘sitting in the corner like a lemon’ which was a bonus.  However, as with these things, I found myself talking to only a small fraction of the writers there due to where I was sitting.  I met a variety of characters though, including a friendly astrophysicist who writes sci-fi in his spare time and a woman who is working on two novels at the same time but losing motivation to complete either.  I spent most of my time chatting to a published children’s author who discussed the loneliness of being a writer and the need for human interaction when you are pursuing such a solitary occupation.  I found it really useful chatting to people and getting an idea of other peoples’ projects.  I really liked the hodgepodge of people there and that was rather encouraging that most still had a full time day job to pay their bills and wrote on the side as a passion.  Most of the people were older than me so it was a really good opportunity to just learn about how people got into writing and what their aims for the future were. 

The informal nature of the chat was nice as you could engage with whom you pleased, and it felt more like a chat with some friends down the pub.  I did find that despite the fact that we all had a love of writing in common, people were all very different and in some cases, rather eccentric.  But that’s what made it all the more enjoyable.


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