By Leslie Lindsay
It’s been on my mind for, oh 9 months or so (no, I am not pregnant), I finally decided to give it a go. I went to a special-agent writer’s meeting. Not special agent in the sense that you may be thinking. There was not a Private Eye or bullet-proof vest, no spies or drama of that sort. But, what I found were–gasp–published authors!
After referring to my trusty Smart Phone to navigate me to the
undisclosed uh, new-to-me location, I arrived, albeit a few minutes tardy. (I was told the meetings begin at 7:00 sharp!) And I wasn’t even sure if I had made it to the right place, as there was no sign on the door or anything else that indicated that I had arrived. Though, I had arrived. I wasn’t sure if I was expecting a secret handshake or a patterned knock on the door. If so, I didn’t know the code.
Turns out the “code,” is only the desire to write. Seriously write. Write seriously. I made myself comfortable, plopping down in a molded plastic chair, paper, and pen poised ready for note-taking. We went around the room introducing ourselves. It started off with name, then “published in” ___(insert genre), followed by current project. It was a bit intimidating to hear folks–all women–say, they had published 13 books, or were on the New York Times bestseller list. By the time they got to me, I told them that I actually had just turned in a manuscript (they actually stopped to look at me and nodded approvingly). I told them what else I was working on and that I needed a really good critique group. This is after all, my first novel.
One thing I really like about this group was their willingness to allow newcomers to sit in on a meeting without any obligation whatsoever. And the fact that they kept chirping, “when you get published,” as opposed to “if you get published.” I also appreciate the mentorship feel of the group; it’s writers helping writers. And we all know that writing–while intrisically motivating and introspective–it can be a bit isolating. So, I think I will go back.
This time, I will know the secret knock.