That always seemed to be the question for me. But why?
Let me back up.
Yesterday, not long after I published my post, I received a text from a friend informing me that there was a talk that afternoon at a local hotel on the “Art of the Book Deal.” It was being hosted by Redwood Writers. Now, of course, I knew of Redwood Writers…I mean, I’m a writer and I live in this area…and up until yesterday, I knew they were a sort of local chapter of writers who supported each other and put on cute, little events (yes, I said that with disdain…bear with me). I knew that many local writers are associated with them, and that one of my friends had recently joined and even won second place in this year’s conference prose contest. I also knew that they were a group I should probably have joined long ago…but had not.
You see, truth be told, I really didn’t know anything about them. Because I’d avoided them. I’d decided I was too good for them (yes, I said that…bear with me). I was the mythic lone wolf. I didn’t need anyone. Besides, I was too busy. And, I couldn’t afford the $65 membership fee…never mind I’d easily drop that on a shirt at my favorite overpriced store on a bored Saturday. You see, truth be told, I’d been scared…for a long time. Joining Redwood Writers would have meant committing, putting myself out there, becoming part of a community which would not only support me but hold me accountable. So, even though yesterday, when I got my friend’s text, I was already five days into this blog…already committed, putting myself out there, and trying out this thing called community…when I went to the Redwood Writers’ website to check out the event old fears resurfaced. I was careful not to look around too much. I just wanted to get the info and get out.
Here we shall deviate for a moment to briefly introduce “synchronicity.” Julia Cameron, who I’ve mentioned in a prior post, speaks of it a great deal in her book, The Artist’s Way. Synchronicity is that strange, almost magical, thing that happens when you finally take action. You declare a dream, you leap, you take just a small step, and suddenly, the Universe starts conspiring to help you, as if it’s just been waiting for you to make a move. It’s the strangest thing but I’ve seen it happen…to myself, to friends…and it happened yesterday.
I went to the Redwood Writers’ website, and I found the event that my friend had texted me about right there on the home page. But my hand moved too quickly and I scrolled too far down the page. Suddenly I was reading about another event, coming up in October, and there was a familiar name and face that stopped me in my virtual tracks.
During my graduate program at Sonoma State University I had the good fortune to work with Anita Amirrezvani. Anita has written two amazing novels, The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun, the second having been long-listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction. Though we only worked together for one semester, in that time she helped me to better understand how to tighten the structure of my novel and heighten its overall tension. I recall hearing her read from her second book at SSU’s Weill Hall, and how she left us on the edges of our seats, exiting the stage with a knowing smile. I remembered thinking, “Wow, so that’s how it’s done.” It’s been a couple years since Anita and I last spoke, and I had been wondering how to reconnect with her. Certainly I could send an email, but I worried she wouldn’t remember me, especially given how brief our association had been and how many students she interacts with.
And suddenly, there she was in front of me on the Redwood Writers’ website because of a friend’s text. And there I was, taking action, declaring I would live each day as a writer and facing fears. And that’s synchronicity.
So, to join or not to join? It’s not even a question anymore. I have! And I’ve been all over the site…there are open mic nights, member spotlights, contests, monthly meetings! I can’t express how excited I am! Why did I wait so long? And you can bet I’ll be going to that event in October.
For more about Anita and her books visit her website at:
If you’re reading this, are a writer, and are local, here is the website for Redwood Writers (don’t take as long as I did):