The last fortnight or so has seen me jaggedly move from one thing to another, trying to maintain writing life. I envisaged the meeting I attended earlier in the week was just another step on my writing journey and it was, other than the size of the step! We were all affiliated to the same organisation, but as we did the creeping death introductions around the room it was obvious I was in the company of some heavy hitters. I was surrounded by bona fide writers actively in the business, with credits, with experience and knowledge of how the industry works – the whole nine yards, so naturally, I was absolutely terrified.
Regardless of my internal turmoil, I was made to feel welcome. As the discussions developed around what to include in the reporting process for discriminatory practices, the chair made a point to include online trolling and similar harassment. At that moment I was touched to be there and glad I made the effort not just for myself but for anyone else who may have concerns about writing online.
It took time for my nerves to subside. When I could breathe more naturally again, I was better able to participate. After the meeting, I managed to answer questions about my blog that previously had my throat constricted, my brain scrambled and my stomach in knots. I was described as brave to put my work online and I was surprised to hear myself explain that it gets easier, because it has. I repeated my fears about writing and was reassured that I am doing what needs to be done – writing. Most surprisingly I was envied for being able to write on a regular basis, those comments reminded me I was fortunate to have this time and I should be more grateful. It occurred to me that filling this space has become habitual (as I hoped it would) and it is not comfortable to imagine my writing future without it.
I had no idea what to expect when expressing an interest to partake in this meeting, but I am glad I attended. The experience reinforced my belief that my unconventional, learn as you go, feel the fear and do it anyway approach to writing is working. Things are improving slowly and will continue to do so even if just through repetition. Eventually, the new experiences, new people and new places will be known. The extra energy required to embrace ‘the new’ can then be utilised to improve the habitual.