Last night I attended the Willamette Writer's Group Meeting to hear Jessica Morrell speak. She's a local, successful author. She shared her story, and oh! I love stories. She inspired me. The entire writing community in the Portland area is astounding me. First, I didn't even know there was a 'community' until Wordstock 2009 gave me the red pill that jolted me into a new existence. My new world has a club, and it's not exclusive.
I expected on some part to find the mystery writer's tucked in a back corner donning black jackets with unlit cigs dangling precociously from their tight-lipped mouths, romance writers seductively lounging with heaving bosom's, and perhaps a literary novelist sitting front row, whose nose would be held high enough to look down on me.
I'm not exactly sure what I expected strolling into the writing world, but it certainly wasn't what I found. I was nervous. I was feeling neophyte, unpublished, a stray dog begging for crumbs and not worthy of the surrounding company. But what I found in this local writing environment has not been hostile, pompous or intimidating. It's been the opposite. I've been approached with open-arms. I've been welcomed into this literary community like they've known all along that I was a writer. And never once let one of my fellow writer's catch me saying that I'm anything but a writer. I'm a writer. They make me say it. I blush, "Oh, but I'm not published." And they will add, "Yet." They make me believe it's a possibility. These people, these complete strangers, support me. The one's who've found success want to help you find it too. The one's who've not published yet will take your hand and happily pull you along the path to our shared goal.
Though we may sit alone at our computer or at our desk with pen in hand... we aren't alone in the writing community. They're out there. They're routing for me. That has been an unexpected delight.