Sunday, February 7, 2010

Writing group guilt.

I belong to this writing group that meets one Sunday a month, with the host-house rotating among the group. It used to be mostly informal poetry workshop with a little snack on the side, but it's morphed (happily!) into a festival of food with some poetry tacked on at the end. It's a great time, with a small bunch of fantastic, funny, insightful, grounded women.

Here's the thing: because I have the Things on Sundays, I can't really go very often. Maybe twice a year. And I can't really host it at my house, because the Things aren't quite old enough to entertain themselves for the 3+ hours that it ends up running, what with food and gossip and laughter and poems and all.

I was very excited to get to go hang out with the group today, but I could only stay for the first 1.5 hours because I had to pick up the Things. Which meant that I got to eat wonderful food. And, because I had to leave early, they had me workshop my poem first. So I ate, I got my poem responded to, I stayed 10 minutes after that, and then ran off. Essentially, I enjoyed all the perks of being there, and then turned around and gave no feedback to the poems of 3 different women. And I am not on the docket to take on the hosting duties myself.

I fear that I have become, because of my schedule and responsibilities, a drain, a mooch, and an unprofitable member of the group. I don't want to go again feeling like I'm all take and no give. So I have two options, as I see it: until my situation changes, I stop going altogether, or when I do manage to go I should take no poem of my own so that at the very least I'm on the giving end, for what little it's worth (nothing compared to a great meal!), of the feedback.


Anonymous said...

You could also trade off--take a poem one time, don't take one the next time. I'm sure everyone would rather have you there than not.

Lisa B. said...

Don't be crazy. We are so happy to have you come when you can. And speaking for myself, I'm also happy to get to look at one of your poems. Seriously, you must stop thinking in this vein.

It's not like that--the analysis you did. The way to think of it is, we all get to see each other. Period. The end.

I wish I could think of a way to be more emphatic about this!


Renaissance Girl said...

Thanks, LisaB. I'll come when I can. But there's also the issue of my being such a mindblowingly slow writer, which doesn't actually make for monthly product to pass around.