Writing Wednesday: Adventures in Social Awkwardness

Image representing Meetup as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Over the weekend, I went to my second meeting of the Philadelphia Writer’s Meetup.  For those of you unfamiliar with Meetup, it’s a website that allows individuals to create groups and schedule “meetups” for everything from kayaking to Goth parenting.

In theory, Meetup is a great idea but in practice, it tends to attract large amounts of socially awkward folk who can’t help but adopt the behavior of a bunch of third graders on a field trip whenever they dare to actually venture out in public.  (“Where’s the organizer?”  “Are we there yet?” “Where are we going to sit?”  “Will we get a bathroom break soon?”  “Is it time for lunch?”)

Having been homeschooled, I don’t deal particularly well with field trips of the group variety.  I know Meetups are all about meeting people but if I’d like to check out the view from the roof deck while the rest of the group would rather huddle around the bar lest someone wander off and get lost, then, by golly, I’m gonna go check out the view from the roof deck!

This would explain why I stopped attending meetups with my last group (purportedly organized for Philly singles looking to “seize the day”) and why I can still count my Philly friends on one hand, but I’d rather fly solo than subject myself to buddy system bathroom breaks.

Nonetheless, I decided to give the Writers Meetup a try.  In lieu of a traditional New Year’s resolution, I promised myself that this year, whenever I’m faced with a decision (such as, “Should I get up now or go back to bed?”) I’m going to ask myself WWJD: What Would a Journalist Do?  In truth, I don’t really want to be a journalist—I want to be a novelist— but “novelist” doesn’t start with the letter “j” and I wanted something that was easy to remember.  So now, when my alarm goes off in the morning and I find myself fumbling for the snooze button, I stop and say, “Now Kat, WWJD?”  More times than not, I decide that a proper writer would get up, get over to her computer and polish off a quick 500 words before getting ready for work.

(At least that’s how my WWJD scheme is supposed to work.  The good thing about New Year’s resolutions is that you’ve got a whole year to get them right.)

But back to the Writers Meetup.  I don’t like hanging out with socially awkward people (I’m socially awkward enough on my own, thank you very much) but once I stopped to ask myself “WWJD?” I decided that a successful writer would go to the Meetup.  So I did, and lo and behold, it didn’t suck.

8 Responses to “Writing Wednesday: Adventures in Social Awkwardness”

  1. ĐΣΛИ

    Might I take a moment of your time to tell you how captivating I find your writing? Poetry has a way with me as no other literary form. . . but I must say in all candidness that I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed your writing. Usually I avoid sites with your stated subject matter, but count myself fortunate that I continued reading. At the likely risk of sounding over pious and over educated, I so appreciate good grammar, syntax and spelling. I shall make a point of visiting and commenting again.

    My best,

    • Kat Richter

      Well now, I think this the first time I’ve ever been praised for my gammar and spelling! Syntax yes… but the finer points of the English langauge have always eluded me. Thank you for stopping by (and for making me blush on what’s been an otherwise unremarkable day).

  2. Zak

    That reminds me of WWJCD – what would Jackie Chan do?

    I’ve signed up to a few meetups, but only been to a kayaking one. It was less like third grade than you mention, but still had plety of follow the leader going on.

  3. amysjoy

    Meetup groups are great for meeting lots of people who also like what you like (presumably), and yeah, there can be a lot of third grade field trip going on, but it’s better than nothing when you don’t know anyone in the area. THANKFULLY, I’ve been to some really good meetups with minimal social awkwardness, though there was that one time I got kicked out of the group. That was less fun.

  4. sarahnsh

    I’ve done the whole meetup thing and I actually met my fiancee through a meetup, go figure, right? I joined a singles meetup and never met anyone, and then I went to a fun group kind of meetup and ended meeting him. I was also homeschooled and tend to be an introverted person, but I do really enjoy writer’s groups. It’s nice to have that support and to have the second opinion about your work.

    • Kat Richter

      Wait wait WAIT: you were homeschooled AND you met your fiance through a Meetup? Evidently I need to give the other social clubs another shot…

  5. Nabeel's Cosmos

    Meetup.com serves or at least tends to serve a much bigger purpose than socially awkward singles meeting with other singles. I use it to find volunteer opportunities and like minded folks with like minded interests.

    Also, the first comment … which poetry is this guy referring to?


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