Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Steam Vents and Vitriol

I have a blog, and I'm not afraid to use it. At least, I'm not afraid to use it to vent.

Here is where I lose my nerve. Exactly as I do when I'm writing, I suddenly start to consider how something will sound to a critic who speaks like my mother. Will it be nice? Is it really the smartest thing I could have said? And then, like magic, the story or the rant disappears into the ether. The tension remains. Not today.

I decided several years ago to give my writing a serious place in my life and I joined a writer's group. It went well for several years and then was hydra'd (split into two), hijacked, and is now defunct. I was fortunate to find another group that focussed on critiquing and continued to work and submit (we'll skip over the success ratio).

Then, the second group ran into a shoal of non-participation. That's neither suprising nor threatening, until the participating membership dwindles down far enough that one or two people missing a meeting derails the meeting. This is where we seem to be, with some members arguing for a fee schedule, some for a change of venue, and some for a combination of other solutions. I'm adamantly opposed to some of these options and may be stuck unable to "compromise"--that is, to preserve a dysfunctional system because some people don't want change.

Have I given myself enough time to verify that writing is no longer for me? Have I tried and therefore can stop without regret? Is the group worth fighting for if the membership has changed?

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