I’m a shell-person – an introvert who is anxious about going out and interacting with people I don’t know. Ironic, since I also teach college and interact with hundreds of new people every semester. However, that’s in a context I’m very comfortable with, one where I’ve got 27+ years of experience. Going into a social context that I’m not so familiar with is kind of scary.
There’s a local group of people who are interested in reading and writing science fiction and fantasy: the Rochester Speculative Literature Association (R-SPEC for short). I’ve known about them for months, and even know one of its members pretty well. I’ve been following them on Facebook and meaning to go to one of their meetings, but I kept chickening out. Guess what – last night I went! And it was good. There were about a dozen people, and they were all very welcoming and friendly. They went out of their way to make sure I knew what was happening and how everything worked. And when four members read from their current projects, the comments from the group were supportive and encouraging while still offering good, concrete suggestions for improvement. In addition to sharing works through readings, they have programs with information writers need (how to build a realistic planet, how to handle dialogue, and so on). I think I’m going to join and going to attend again.
Look at me – stepping out there and forming connections. Yay!