I have been a member of the Nanowrimo group on Facebook for over four years and the local group for at least three. I have always wanted to join in on the group writing known as a write in but for one reason or another I never made it until today. At first I am sure nerves had a lot to do with it. Oddly enough I am quite the extrovert but because I suffered from a debilitating fear of looking foolish in front of people stemming from my PTSD for years I can slip back into that mind set in certain situations.
I have overcome it in many respects working in a field that constantly puts me in front of people to perform and make conversation with strangers. I speak in public as often as possible and when handed a radio microphone or put in front of a television camera I am just as comfortable as I would be sitting in my own living room. But when it comes to sitting with other people involved intimately in something I am passionate about like writing I feel the butterflies stirring.
Today I made it though. I am sitting amongst fellow wrimos writing and trying to drastically increase my word count. I am not sure how well it will work because now I have more people to talk to about writing whereas the coffee shop I tend to spend most of my time in is public but solitary at the same time. I may end up back there this afternoon but at least I can finally say I faced the concern of looking and feeling out of place.
I also stopped making excuses like I have to work, it is too far away or the time doesn't work with my schedule. While they have almost all been legitimate concerns at one time or another the truth of the matter is that they are the same reasons many people give to not write at all. I am already a three time and hopefully soon to be four time winner of Nanowrimo so my dedication isn't in question but just as I push myself beyond my comfort zone in genre it is important to do so in life and my writing experiences as well.
For anyone thinking about joining a group, whether for hobby, work or even sports but you have reservations I suggest you take an honest and objective look at the reasons you have for hesitating. Are they real or just excuses because of some underlying fear? If it is fear then I say suck it up and jump in feet first. Now that I am here and working I wish I would have done it sooner. Worst case scenario I do say or do something embarrassing or my word count doesn't improve. If either is the case I simply will know better and not return but at least I can finally say I tried. Take the chance, you never know what opportunity you may be afforded.