Group Think

The life of a writer can be a lonely one, admittedly, and many writers find themselves in that vocation for that exact reason: an introverted nature pushes them into a solitary pursuit. I am no different in that respect in many ways. I have been an introvert since before I can remember, and so many stories exist in the canon of our family as evidence. My twin sister was the social one. I was the one that found a corner to play quietly in–something that my toddler does now–or the one to sit at the counter as my mother cooked rather than running around with the backyard with my siblings. In high school, I could often be found in the library during lunch, or in the commons during pep rallies. I wasn’t a joiner. I was a thinker, a reader. A loner.

But, eventually, you have to figure out how to be with people, how to talk to them, how to stand up in front of them. Not a single year in school allows many weeks to pass without a forced public presentation, what made me sweat in my sleep. I was determined to conquer not only my social anxiety but my stage fright. I’m not sure I succeeded, but I have made speeches I was complimented on, I have made friends, I do speak not only after being spoken to. In short, I like being with people and I like being by myself.

Yet sometimes, it gets to be a little much, the sound of my voice only inside my own head. On Monday, I took care of some housekeeping things for our family and made a few phone calls, but other than that, I stayed home the entire day, barely moving from my desk. It made for a sort of solace that felt unresolved by the time I went to pick up my little boy, and I was bound and determined to meet someone on Tuesday.

I really can’t remember Tuesday, but I do remember yesterday after I reached out to a new writer acquaintance. She quickly became a friend after two visits during which we talked about writing and memoir and editing and teaching and all the things I love to talk about. The interrupted visit was sandwiched around a chat with a mentor friend of mine, and the sum total made for a virtually perfect afternoon.

A coworking space for people like me isn’t a bad idea, not in the least.

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