This past week was a busy one, not only because of writing, but in a much deeper and personal sense. Since I was 17 or 18 I avoided large crowds. At first it started out where I’d only go if I were with someone I knew very well, like family. Then it got to where I pretty much didn’t go anywhere where they might be a small crowd of people. Largest type of group I would mix myself among was the grocery store and I even timed those trips so it would be when the number of people was fewer. Slowly over the last couple of years I’ve made small improvements. This week I found out those small improvements had lead up to large ones that I hadn’t even realized.
If you read my Facebook post then you know I attended a James Patterson speaking event this past Thursday. I was expecting a somewhat large crowd, and that fact scared me. Yet, for a change I didn’t let it run me. I bought my tickets and was deadest on going. (Okay, I admit a part of me expected my own self to struggle with backing out at the last minute.) Then I get an email the day of the event and it states they are expecting over a 1,000 people. Didn’t surprise me, it spooked me and the panic and fear started rising. Once again, I pushed it aside refusing to let my own internal struggles keep me from missing out on such an event. I headed to the event, which was located in a part of town that I’d never been to and of course, I sort of got lost. (Okay, lost wasn’t correct, I couldn’t find the dang gum entrance for the auditorium I was going to.) I didn’t panic when I realized I needed to stop and ask a complete stranger where the entrance was. Then I get parked and get into a large line of unknown faces. Still no panic had risen. A lady I know from my writing group showed up and we took our seats. At the time, I didn’t realize the significant of the seats we took. Usually, when I’m in a theater of sorts I sit at the end of an aisle so I can dart out very easy. This time I had no thoughts whatsoever about taking a seat dead center of the aisle. The event was amazing and I had a blast. Not one single panic attack or thought about jumping up and running from the massive large crowd.
If that wasn’t enough of an achievement the next day I went to a Genre Fiction Writing Workshop being conducted by J.A. Jance. Group of people wasn’t large, there were only around 25 people, but we were crammed around tables creating a U-shape. Our elbows were pretty much touching no mater which way we moved, but once again that dreaded panic and fear evaded me.
I know I have stated before that writing saved my life, but I do not think even I realized how much of an impact it was still having on me. The drive to hone my creative skills as a writer for my readers, the joy and the love I get from writing and reading has aided my life in such small ways that I overlooked the smaller signs of improvements in my life. (Like attending a movie on a Friday or Saturday night, instead of the earliest showing possible, going to the coffee house and sitting for hours on hours. The writing group I’d joined and going to shopping by myself. These are things I’ve been doing over the last year or so and not even realizing how much they were mixing me among other people.)
So, I hope if you have something you plan out love to do that you take the time to enjoy it and let it impact your life in as many ways as you possible can. It not only helps you relax, but makes your life better all the way around.
Everyone have an amazing week and remember let your imagination soar when your read or write.