The five women of my writer's group meet around noon on Saturdays via Zoom. We are mostly in LA but also on the east coast. Our memoirs are long and complex and varying degrees of traumatic. We are very different but parallel connections seem to crop up between us at every turn. We talk of family and the Hollywood industry. We take breaks from diving into format, structure, and tenses to mute ourselves and snack on various things. A sleepy dachshund dozes on someone's arm as we talk about all the tricky and awkward and beautiful things in life.
I've never been part of a writer's group before. I've never done anything that involved only women, especially women a little older than me. I'm finding it to be... divine. A nice contrast from my workouts and talks with the guys and my newly formed, young scene study group. If I thought it was coincidence before, it has certainly solidified as a pattern now: I love to be doing a lot of different things and mingling with a lot of different people at once.
I sort of explained this in a TikTok yesterday: the plight of the 'mixed kid' is one of endlessly not belonging anywhere fully and so embracing bits of belonging everywhere you go. That's kind of my M.O... finding things in common with everyone so I can get on their page, bringing different 'types' of people together.
The writer's group is a wider degree of variance from my usual circle, but in a way I think I've been needing. I don't get to nerd out over books and poetry much with people, or discuss imagery and sentence structure at length. In the past few years I've worked so much more deeply on music, rhythm, style, and other things unspoken/unwritten. My word-nerd lay semi-dormant in me, always, and now on Saturdays between noon and 3, I get to dive into an art form I am endlessly fascinated with and naturally championing. I've never tried to write professionally before. Writing holds little trauma for me--in fact it provides the opposite: reconciliation, healing, understanding, and acceptance. I don't sit and talk myself out of writing the way I talk myself out of dance class or singing in public. I could write all kinds of stuff all day (and I am). I take joy in writing emails and texts for chrissakes. Now I'm organizing and uncovering so many stories and unique descriptions for every passion and confusion, every opportunity and missed expectation. I write my own worthiness and self confidence into existence, daily. :) I write to grow my appreciation and shed light on so many good things I might have otherwise written off as unimportant. I make them important, and through this medium, I create a better perspective for myself and an endlessly better life.
The women of my writer's group are mothers, daughters, artists, and lovers. They casually unpack some of the most astonishing and bravest stories I've ever heard. Stories I might not have believed existed until they arrive on my gmail page. I try to help any way I can, and I'm more of a gratitude-and-grammar kind of contributor than any authority on good story, but they listen in and thank me and then dig their hands into the soil of my own story, asking for ever more scenic detail and pushing me to build a strong base for my emotional voyage. They readily dive into and appreciate that voyage, having varying degrees of dance experience and interest. They are my paper-and-pen tribe. My pillars of feminine strength and vulnerability. They are kind and sassy and unafraid to quiz each other's memory on any subject. Their lives and written words are vastly inspiring and they leave me feeling full of appreciation for even the deepest flaws of life.
Damn, school is so much more fulfilling as an adult. :)