Thursday, August 4, 2011

Social Writing

Probably the most difficult thing that I've had to get used to with the writing groups is maintaining a balance of social interaction with the craft. I've been with this group for four years and in nearly every session there are participants who show up late, show up with strange requirements, or show up thinking that we are going to talk through the entire session. The group is a simple one--write together on a project of your making for an hour. Still, writers come in expecting the social element, or critique afterward--what Natalie Goldberg wrote as the writer's affirmation. You want someone to pat you on the back for doing this for an hour. You want others to praise you just for showing up. But that's not going to happen. You need to come here to write with others, period. That's why the name of the group is "Shut Up & Write."

We do talk a little before and little after, which I think lends to the process for the people who return again and again. But for those who demand attention in that golden hour--I have to learn patience, every night. Yet, that patience is golden when they produce it in me. I feel as though I have been given my own affirmation.

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