This is a slightly edited version of my post on my writing blog http://dlwebb.wordpress.com
Yesterday, only three of us showed up at a place appropriately called Kick Butt Coffee for the SheWrites birthday meetup in Austin in the middle of a thunderstorm, but it was well worth the effort. Despite the differences in our ages, our occupations and our writing aspirations, we had an amazing amount of “writerly” things in common.
The three of us ranged in age from twenty-something to fifty-something. Our occupations included a file clerk at a mortgage company, a computer systems analyst and a Ph.D. freelance writer. Two of us were married, one single with a boyfriend. One of us wrote science fiction/fantasy, one humor and one romance.
But one thing we all had in common–-we were passionate about our writing.
The other surprising and somewhat disappointing commonality–we receive little or no support and nary a glimmer of interest from our significant others. You know, those men we supposedly share our lives with and lean on for support in other areas of our lives. There was a consensus, however, that if the bucks started rolling in as a result of our writing efforts, they would suddenly morph into the most nurturing and supportive creatures imaginable. No wonder we women writers feel the need to reach out, connect and share.
Another common thread–-the trepidation of sharing our words with others. The fear of criticism and rejection seems to be universal and is sometimes overwhelming and self-defeating. Even fear of confessing the genre you feel the most drawn to can be an obstacle. Maybe someone is going to look down their nose at you because you’re writing a vampire romance or a steampunk novel or an erotic gay love story. But in the warm cloak of our female camaraderie, walls came down and we shared, cheering each other on. That’s what women do best.
We shared tips, websites, experiences, failures, embarrassments, exchanged books to read, shared our hopes for the future and left with a promise to do this again. I hope we do. Writing can be isolating as you live inside your own head and wonder if what you’re experiencing is worthy of sharing with the outside world. Maybe my newly developed coffee klatch, courtesy of SheWrites.com, can help with that.