On a scale of 1 to 10 for meeting my shyness challenge, I get a 6. Yes, I asked someone to coffee, but we haven’t had coffee yet. The circumstances around my coffee inquiry, oddly enough, connect back to the novel I just finished writing.
Last Thursday, I attended a young professionals networking event and talked to a few people, which I consider to be an accomplishment. When I first started attending the networking group, Stir, I found it easier to decorate the walls than talk to strangers. But people would approach me and I would talk back, because after meeting someone, I can come up with all kinds of things to say.
Anyway, after six-plus months of going to the Stir events, I knew enough people to move in and out of conversations. I greeted Andrea, who I met at a previous Stir event. She was talking to a woman named Michelle, a business owner who started a conference focused on empowering possibilities and making needed life changes.
Michelle explained how she started her business during the recession, mainly because she needed a job, and in doing so found her calling.
“What you’re talking about sounds like my novel,” I said.
I explained how “One April Day” is about a 30-something woman named Maggie who gets laid off from a newspaper and, after six months of luckless job searching, moves home with her parents. Through her losses, she gets confused about her purpose in life, even though she finds another writing job that she hates. In essence, Maggie got laid off before her birthday on April 29 but a year later on April 30 when she expects to get laid off again, she realizes that her calling was there all along.
After I finished my elevator speech, Michelle excitedly showed me a flyer for the conference – it’s on April 29-30. Without putting it into religious terms, it basically was serendipity or an amazing coincidence. In the least, it was strange, as it was when my watch stopped just as I finished my novel.
My novel writing is like the whole shyness thing, where I get scared of rejection. I know that I have to try, or I’ll blend into the wall, waiting and waiting. Hoping. Trying. But not turning possibility into change.
At the end of our talk, Michelle said I should email her, so we could chat, and I said, “Let’s get coffee.”