Monday, June 10, 2013

Getting Out and Just Going

The James River Writers June on the James fundraiser event was Thursday night.  Even the rain held off for the event.
I really appreciate the Charlottesville supporters from WriterHouse braving the pouring rain they had to drive through to come.
Course they needed to come accept the Emyl Jenkins Award from me, but I’m still really glad they came.
For a lot of reasons.
As the nominator said when nominating Hampton Roads Writers for the Emyl Award, writing is such a solitary endeavor……writers need support…..

I think the days of the reclusive hermit writer in the cave or turret, and staying there, have ended.  To get people to see and notice your book there has to be Some kind of presence out in the world.
So you Are going to have to Do IT - Do Something in the world - even if you never quite get used to it or even like it.
And that is not at All easy for us solitary writers.
But I can tell you it gets easier.  A little anyway.   Sometimes.   You might still have days that are better than others.   But that’s true of your writing life too isn’t it?

I keep hearing it again and again, from writers at James River Writers Writing Show, to the JRW casual meet up of writers, that we wittily call Writers Wednesday — coming up This coming Wednesday at Capital Ale House downtown Richmond 
- to the other night at JRW’s June on the James fun event.    
This getting out and actually having to meet and talk to Real people is difficult.  To some people that might include a lot of things more than what I am talking about here.
I am talking about getting out and going to writers events.  
Places where you can meet, and even — gulp --- actually Talk to others about writing.  Or about anything really.
We writers are uncomfortable with all this.   
Although it appears Some obviously aren’t.   Or do they just seem that way?
Are some just better at hiding it?
What do you think?

I know that I was one of those typical ‘hiding’ writers.  [And still am, believe it or not.]  Compounded by coming from a computer background, of being, well, in the background.  Or at least not known for the wonderful skills of interacting with real people.

I have talked about, and probably will talk more, about Emyl Jenkins.
Her legacy to me was an indirect one.  I watched her every chance I got.  I realize I’m not any way close to being her.  And she had a charm that I certainly don’t have.   Irritatingly she passed away before I could quite figure out how she managed it all.   ESPECIALLY how she could talk people into such things!  And they were Always so Delighted!     Course as some of her lovely friends and I have talked about, it was almost like an out of body experience… to wake up next morning and realize what we had agreed to!    And hangovers weren’t even involved!   At least I’m pretty sure.
Emyl always seemed to have time for writers, encouraging and urging them on.  Sometimes fussing them on.
Most of all, she made the mingling and talking seem like it was effortless for her.    And she was a Writer!
Maybe there are people out there that it is effortless to them as well?
[Am thinking about whether I really want to hear from you if it is that easy for you.   ;)  Sorrtta.  Ok, half-hearted grin.]

Well, I’ll tell you it isn’t effortless for me to get out there and mingle and speak to you.  
 Regardless of what it Looks like!
Yes, I have friends that I have apparently fooled very well.
But I don’t lie, and it is still very difficult for me.
I can say, it does get a bit easier each time.   Or at least not as cringing stab-in-the-eye painful. Mostly.

Yeah, some people might not speak to you.   But just as they say to don’t take the writing critiques so personally, and that’s still hard, the same thing applies to talking with other writers.  They might just be jerks.   But they might be also panicking just as much inside as you are and coming across as stuck-up jerk. 

As the President of Hampton Roads Writers, Lauran Strait, and I stumblingly talked about the other night, [see I told you. Most writers don’t have an easy time at this socializing / mingling thing] that we both like writing a whole lot more than, you know, actually having to talk to people.   And being President, you know she must have to talk to a lot of people.  
Having volunteered for JRW for a few years now, I know that doesn’t just involve talking to writers.   Double gulp to the throat…and sometimes even the tummy.

But we can survive it!
I mean Come on, when you speak to your characters they are just as big a jerks sometimes too.
And they don’t speak to us at times either.
Yeah, we threaten them with the power to kill them off.  [Bwahahaha, we gloat.]     They laugh at that too you know.   

So pull up your big girl / big boy pants and take a chance on us.  Start coming to a JRW event.  We’re pretty friendly.  Remember we all have our bad days and most probably are scared just like you.
You can try it out casually Wednesday, June 12, at the downtown Richmond Capital Ale House, where JRW Writers Wednesday is meeting this month.
And then the JRW Writing Show at the end of the month.
Start working up to the JRW Conference in October.   It’s certainly worth it.  And you have time.

While I’m talking about James River Writers, I want to give a shout out to the 2013 winners of the JRW Emyl Jenkins Award!

Congratulations Hampton Roads Writers !    
           Thanks to President Lauran Strait for coming to get the Award


Congratulations to the team of Sophia Volpi and Louise Ball

It was so great to meet you all!     Even if we didn’t get to talk all that much.  **Sheepish grin**

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