Friday, September 18, 2009

Making an effort

Part of my September resolutions, aside from blogging on a regular (albeit light) schedule was to make an effort to get out there and join the writing community. "Wow, Manhattan," people from points West say, "you must know a lot of people in the publishing world!" 

Er, no. Not really. Sure, I met quite a few people at the Southampton Writers and Algonquin conferences I attended last year. And yeah, here and there through the kids' school or whatever. But in terms of hanging out with writerly types? No. (Finance and lawyer-ly people, on the other hand? Plenty.)

My first baby step into this strange and wondrous new world was to find a real live, in-person critique group. Not words on a screen and user names--PEOPLE. Okay, done. We haven't met yet, so I've no idea how this will go. Perhaps terribly. But I'm getting out there! 

My second step I completed today: I joined a writer's workspace. This means that a few times a week, I actually have to change into pants, pack my laptop, board a subway, and LEAVE THE UPPER EAST SIDE OMG. 

The space I joined is just 3 stops on the express train and 2 blocks over, so, yes, convenient. It's really just a loft filled with desks and cubicles writers can use, with a kitchen and tables down the hall. Being as noiseless as possible is strictly enforced. I took a seat and listened for a while--nothing but taps on a keyboard. I think I can ignore that. I'll try not to get too competitive with the fast typists. 

There is a place to chat (softly) and they run a bunch of evening discussions and member readings at the KGB Bar, which just, face it, sounds awesome. Is the bar filled with spies? Arty people smoking the hookah? Who knows! Guess I'll find out soon enough.

Writing is such a solitary activity and sometimes it makes me a little crazy. Like I forget how to be social. So I think I need this. How about you? Does your work/hobby draw you away from the world? How do you deal?


10 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

Awesome! I guess I had no idea such workspaces existed. (Although they likely don't in my part of my state.)

Go you. Get out there. You're a writer.

Amy said...

I am very secretive about my writing life. Very few friends know I do this. (Shh!). However...I am part of a wonderful writing group. They've become invaluable to me. I hope you have the positive experience w/your group as I've had w/mine.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, that's so exciting! I would like nothing more than to have a physical place where I can get together with other writers. I hope this works for you!

Lisa Marie Miles said...

This sounds amazing! I couldn't imagine a place where it's quiet and no one is tucking on you asking you to play Lego Star Wars all day. (that's my 3 year old, not my husband)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Bra.vo! Hope your writing group turns out as good as mine.

ralfast said...

The KGB bar looks awesome. I wish I had a place like that nearby. I'll guess I've better schedule a visit next time I'm in the city.

Good luck with your new group.

Ed Pahule said...

Many, many years ago I joined a real life writer's group. This was, of course, in the days before there was even an internet, so you could only hold these things in person. Suffice to say, I have the membership card somewhere and that was as close as I ever came to actually attending a meeting. I fear meeting new people. I'm such a chicken****. :)

So good for you to actually venture outside. Report back on how it goes.

Amy De Trempe said...

I didn't know there were writer's workspaces. There have been a few times I wished I had a place to write that was silent. I used to belong to a critique group that met in person, but I didn't have the time needed to fully participate. The KGB Bar sounds interesting. I hope you report back on your experience.

Angie Muresan said...

Good for you! I heard of such workspaces here where I live (Pacific Northwest), but I have never went so far as to check them out. I have a wonderful French cafe down the block from my house, where I go every morning for two hours of uninterrupted writing. Some of the waitresses are freelancers and they know the importance of keeping my coffee mug filled without disturbing.

Allie said...

The whole writing workspace thing sounds like heaven! My kitchen table doesn't always cut it. :)