Years ago, I went to a youth church service, but not for the obvious reason. Usually, one goes to a church service as part of the fellowship or congregation. But I found myself going, and feeling quite strange about it, as a writer.
I was used to being one in the crowd or part of a fellowship. Adding to my uncomfortably of being the writer there, the service wasn’t in the kind of church I was personally familiar with.
However, I comforted myself in seeing something I was familiar with, which was the informal style, a style distinct from the more traditional styles of church.
I wasn’t at all the youngest there, but this was a youth service that wasn’t going to ring the bells at just the precise moment. This was not, in other words, a liturgical service, but something quite a few young people could relax with.
I found myself feeling quite foreign to the idea of being there as writer. I felt older and conspicuous as well. And the focus of attention, however wrongly I may think. I was glad when it was over and i could get to the business of writing about what I saw. But as I did more of going place to place to report on meetings and events, I began enjoying it.
But there is nothing as horrible as feeling you’re the odd one out in a crowd of people, where you’re the one who is a little different to everyone else, because you’re the writer.
But I got to feel more comfortable with the designation of ‘writer in a strange place’ whose comfort zone is behind the computer doing actual writing. But writers must venture out. It’s part of what we do. Without observing and reporting on the world, a writer lacks something on that ‘outer’ interaction and experience of the world.