My writing group isn’t working for me. It’s not even a writing group like it was when we started. When we started, we got together and were quiet for giant swaths of time as we wrote, stopping to ask a question, get it answered, and move on. Sometimes we talked at length about someone’s story – asking questions, probing, learning – but it seemed to always be about writing.
But the group evolved and changed, as things do, and now it’s a social group. I like everyone who comes. They’re my friends. I like talking to them, learning about them, etc.
But it’s no longer a writing/editing group. It’s a group of writers who may occasionally happen to be able to get some writing in (usually by attending earlier than the rest of the group, thus avoiding the lure of conversation by eliminating other people to talk to).
When I want to write, everyone else wants to chat. When I want to chat, everyone else somehow manages to bury their heads in their projects.
That happened last night. I went and just wanted to write a blog post. My Chromebook battery was low – I hadn’t charged it fully the week before and hadn’t pulled it out of the bag to recharge it this week. My writing goals are meager these days. All that was on my plate was my response and ponderings about the amount of water I’ve been drinking lately.
And I got drawn into a conversation. Maybe I even initiated it after someone made a noise, I don’t remember. I enjoyed the conversation. I learned new things. I’m excited about what I learned.
But I am so fucking frustrated that at a writing group meeting I couldn’t even write a damned blog post. I’m frustrated that the things I want to say are so fucking fleeting that I can’t hold on to them after I get interrupted. I’m frustrated that the time for writing that I need isn’t there anymore because I can’t manage my time.
I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to “fix” this, or if there is a solution that doesn’t involve me ceasing to attend this event filled with friends. That’s a possibility, to be honest. One I’ve considered quite a bit but hesitate to mention out loud because of Reasons.
Well, at any rate, something needs to change. I’m a writer who doesn’t write, which essentially means I’m now just a gamer who doesn’t get paid for Netflixing while playing Skyblock in Minecraft. I write because of the potential to let my words pay for my life, and to free myself from the constraints of being someone else’s employee.
Maybe that reason isn’t good enough anymore.