An introvert learns a lesson

"The Journey": Illustration depicts ...

“The Journey”: Illustration depicts a young boy absorbed in watching the scenery from his seat in a railway car for a series of poems by Josephine Preston Peabody entitled “The Little Past.” The poems relate experiences of childhood from a child’s perspective. Published in: “The Little Past : the Journey” by Josephine Preston Peabody, Harper’s magazine, 108:95 (Dec. 1903). 1 painting : oil. Digital file from original. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning early, several women met to visit, talk about writing, and to share something with the group that they had written in the last three months. This was our second meeting. Our first meeting was to get to know each other a little bit and to discuss what we hoped to gain from the group. I had some trepidations prior to the original meeting, mostly  because I am an introvert and find meetings like this to be difficult,  but, to my surprise,  the first gathering went very well. Even though none of us had the same type of writing goal in mind – our interests ran from children’s books to non-fiction to public speaking to mysteries to daily devotionals – we hit it off so well together that we decided to give the writing group idea a try. Before the meeting ended that morning, we  gave ourselves an assignment in reading and writing, and set a date to gather together again.

As the weeks passed and the date to meet drew closer, I  got my assignments done, which was a great feeling, but then I began to fret about the meeting. “Will the other people actually show up?” ” Why would anyone want to read my stuff?” “Isn’t it kind of odd that writers, who work alone, should even get together?”, etc. (For you extroverts, these kinds of statements are pretty typical examples of introvert self-talk.) Ultimately,  I knew I could depend on one other person being there, and figured that if only she came, we could still have a great morning, and I tried to put my insecure-introvert feelings aside.

Of course, all the mental pacing was for naught – everyone showed up, people graciously read each other’s work, and the critiquing was kind and valuable. I shouldn’t have worried, and I now know why: even at our first meeting, when we realized none of us was going to be writing in the same genre, we had a great time being together, sharing stories, encouraging one another as people first, writers second.  We are  a diverse group in age and experience, but because of that there is a lot of wisdom from which to draw.  Our  prespectives, strengths and weaknesses were mixed, balanced and blended as we shared our stories of meeting the demands of daily life, and the challenges of the writing life.

We plan to meet again next quarter, and as our level of trust and sharing grows, I believe our writing skills will be enhanced, too. Even though writing is a solitary, introvert-ish endeavor, I am beginning to learn the great blessings that comes from a writing group. Who knew?

How Pinteresting!

English: Red Pinterest logo

Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard about the image-based (as compared to word-based) social network called Pinterest? It seems to be a hot topic in many conversations these day. I’ve been lurking on Pinterest’s site for several months, Here’s a description of Pinterest that I found on Galleycat that seems to explain it pretty well:

“Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you  find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate  their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people.  Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get  inspiration from people who share your interests.” 

A neighbor, who is not yet 30 years old and is a stay-at-home mother of one, posted this on her Facebook status:

“I just joined Pinterest a few days ago, but I love it so much that I’ve been having dreams about finding amazing things on it!  I wake up thinking, “What did I find…oh no…I can’t remember what it was!”

Now that’s powerful – Pinterest has invaded the dream-world of my young friend! I guess it’s no big revelation that the present generation was raised on images more than written words as a form of communication. We should know by now that if you want to connect with the youth of this world,  do it with pictures. Pinterest has definitely used that information to good advantage,  but Pinterest has another hook going for it,in my opinion: they have made the process of participating in their social network fun! It is almost like a game to fill your own pinboard with things from the internet that you want to keep and view again (Pinterest has an application that allows you to ‘pin’ internet images, e.g. the cover of a book you enjoy), or you can re-pin images from other people’s pinboards.There is also a way to comment on the items that are pinned.  And you can follow, a la Twitter, people whose boards you like.

So,if you are ready for a new adventure in social networking that can be both useful and fun, give Pinterest a try. See you on the boards!