I had writing group today, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. I was conflicted. On one hand, I DID want to drink coffee, eat cookies, and visit with my fellow writer friends. On the other hand, I wasn’t sure I wanted to take part in today’s main agenda item: Share excerpts from our Nanowrimo novels in progress.
I didn’t want to share my rough draft. I was resistant to the idea of letting my writing pals read even the smallest fraction of my unedited work — so much so that in lieu of choosing a passage to share, I decided to focus my energies on writing bad poetry (which, of course, is the only kind I write):
“I cannot go to group today,”
Said Kristine Riddle with dismay.
“My plot is bent,
My verse is rent,
My verbs are laced with bad intent.
“I cannot go to group today.
I haven’t got one thing to say.
No prose to share
that is not bare.
It’s quite devoid of fun or flair.
“If I should go to group today,
My friends will know I didn’t stay
up late last night
to try to write.
Instead I just ate bagel bites.
“But if I skip my group today —
then what will all my buddies say?
They just might think
that I’m a fink,
or that I stayed at home to drink.
Yes, I WILL go to group today.
I just can’t seem to stay away.
My words might suck,
but with some luck
I’ll find a way to pass the buck.”
In the end I did choose to go to writing group, but I didn’t bring anything to share — which turned out to be a big mistake. Sarah and Jackie shared excerpts from their work in progress, and I LOVED READING THEM. They weren’t perfect or polished, but I could feel the energy behind their words. I could really sense how they put a real, significant part of their own selves into their work. It made me wish I had been brave enough to bring my draft to group — because it does require bravery to share what you’ve written, especially your rough drafts. It’s emotionally risky, but there’s no payoff without risk, right?
Lesson learned. We’ll meet again in two weeks, and I’ll have my rough copy with me. I’ll be ready to be brave by then.