FAC: One Year Later

9 Dec

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Last week my writing group, FAC, celebrated our one-year anniversary.

To mark the occasion, I picked up some zucchini bread from Big Sur Bakery, and Katie, Hilary and I sat in an abandoned Pepperdine classroom and talked.

And ate chunks of sugar carbs.

And talked some more.

We all thought this year would hold more for us than it did, to be frank.  Writing is the ultimate humbling task.  You start counting finishes as wins.  You start to get excited about the participation prize.

Maybe it’s good practice for life.

People get upset, “Why are we giving everyone trophies for participating?  In life it’s the wins that count!” but the more I go through life the more I think a lot of it is about participation.  It’s about getting up morning after morning knowing you might never win, you’ll probably never win, but you’re still going to try.

It’s about the participation most of the time.

Without the participation you’ll never get the win.

And it takes a whole lot of participation to get to the win.

At least that’s what I’m thinking right now.

This year hasn’t all been FAC struggles, though. We’ve had some successes, too, this writing group of mine.

Katie got herself a literary agent.

Hilary met John Green (!!)

I started writing for Self.

We all wrote things we are proud of, things that remind of why we are writing, where we want to go.

We all have goals for the next year, a stronger sense of ourselves and our writing styles and our writing routines.

Writing is a lifelong pursuit, really.  It takes time and endless amounts of practice and huge buckets of gutsiness.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m gutsy enough for it.

On the nights where I meet up with a friend Starbucks, a list of all my insecurities in hand, heaviness in my heart.

Those nights I wonder.

On days where I cry to Luke at nachos that I don’t think I’ll amount to anything.

Those days I wonder.

At some point in our FAC meeting I pulled out Texts from Jane Eyre, a delightful book with imagined text message conversations with famous literary characters.  We read the pages out loud and laughed at Mr. Rochester, giggled at Ron Weasley, sobbed at Teddy and Jo.

Anne Lamott said, “You wouldn’t be a writer if reading hadn’t enriched your soul more than other pursuits,” and I believe that.

I am a writer because I read.

These girls are writers because they read.  Because Jo March meant something to them.  Because Wuthering Heights text messages make our hearts giddy.

i love you like i love the inside of my own brain

oh my god that’s so much love

i knooooow

do you want to make out right now

god no

i want to wait until you’re dead

and then rip up the earth over your grave

and crawl inside

It’s been a good year, really.  I’m glad I have Hilary and Katie to listen to my crazy, to bounce ideas off of, to discuss protagonist’s names with.

I’m glad I’m not alone in my writing pursuits.

I’m glad I pursued writing at all!  That I went out there and did it.

That I’m doing it.

Let’s bring this to present tense.

Also.

I’m rather glad zucchini sugar carb bread from Big Sur Bakery exists.

At least that’s what I’m thinking right now.

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