"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life Tip of the Week - Interact

There's something to be said for getting out and being amongst the people.
Joining groups / making friends - all very important for how you view the world. But as with everything in life, joining takes work. Just try to keep a few things in mind:

1) Just do it -
We're all afraid of doing new things. It's human nature. But here it's important to remember to Feel the Fear ... and do it anyway. I remember the first SCBWI meeting I went to. I was brand new, felt inferior to all the "real" writers who were already members. But I went anyway. And you know what? It was not big deal. So whatever it is, just fill out the form, send in the check, drive to the conference. Force yourself to take the first step.

2) Every group is not the right one -
Just because you've joined a group doesn't mean you're married to it for life. Personalities don't always mesh. Subject matter may not be what you're interested in. Time/date/place might not work. In the past, I've participated in critique groups which met in the evenings at the bookstore. But with a family, I found this didn't always work. Kids have activities. Husbands have to work late. I've just joined a new online critique group which I think will work better for my life and schedule.

3) You aren't alone -
One of the biggest benefits of joining a group is the realization that you are not the only one in your particular situation. Whether it's a support group for personal issues, a new author's group like Class of 2K7 (and on a side note - I've recently been accepted into the Class of 2K8), or a playgroup of new moms, it's nice to know that you aren't alone. Whatever you're feeling, a million people have felt before you. Whatever you're going through - ditto. There seem to be support groups out there for anything you could even imagine.

4) Friends are important -
I've found that as I get older, making friends is not as easy. There is so much going on in my life, that trying to build new friendships doesn't get much time. It's not like college when making friends was as easy as seeing who wanted to go to a party together on Friday night. But the friendships are important, and worth spending time on. Pick and choose and then nurish.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

Funny you write this tip because, lately, I've been wondering if groups are just not for me. But, you are right, perhaps the ones I've chosen are not the right ones. Still, it's hard to find a good group.