It’s only halfway true that, when I’m really into a writing project and I stay at home to work, I worry that I’m missing out on all the fun stuff. I’ve never actually been that great at fun stuff. (This might be why I was drawn to writing rather than, say, emceeing or acting or politics.) I’m the person who hides in the kitchen at a party, or talks to the resident dog. I’m the person who stands as far away from the stage as possible at a concert. More than missing out, I fear being crushed or having beer spilled on my shoes.
These are real fears based on extensive personal experience. At least the beer on shoes one is.
I want to go out. I want to meet people and do things. But when I’m out, I’m thinking about the great stuff I’d be writing if I were at home with my manuscript. (Then I get home and can’t recall any of those brilliant ideas, because ideas are slippery and they don’t like to wait around.) I want to be good at having fun, but much more than that, I want to write something wonderful. Something so potent and engaging that other people will decide to stay in so they can read it. Or maybe they’ll be out, but they’ll be thinking about the thing I wrote, and wondering what happens next, and thinking maybe if they stay out for just ten more minutes it’ll be okay to leave and get back to reading.
My favorite authors are the ones who make me feel that way. The ones I wish I could meet at a party. But then, let’s be real, we’d have nothing to say to each other. We’d probably just nod knowingly, and slip books out of our respective bags, and sit in companionable silence, ignoring each other while we got back to our reading.