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.