Monday, December 19, 2011

With Love to My Writing Group

My writing group has its annual holiday dinner tonight. We have been in existence as a group, depending on how you measure its existence, for some nineteen years. The group had been in the process of formation when I attended my first meeting in the fall of 1992, the year I arrived in Colorado to assume my faculty position in the philosophy department at CU. And when I showed up, then we were fully formed: done!

There were eight of us then, including me. Over the years, two left the group (but didn't leave our hearts); another left only to come back again; and a new member, our first new member in eighteen years, joined us a year ago. I have no idea how many books we have collectively published in our almost two decades together. I would guess that it is close to a hundred.

It just occurred to me that my being a thousand miles away from my writing group this past semester might be one explanation for why I've been writing so little, and why what I have written hasn't yet been ready to be published. Duh! Without the expectation of having a chapter to share every two weeks at our every-other-Monday-night meeting, without the encouragement through fallow times, and the brisk, bracing critique of work-in-progress, I haven't been writing at the same level. I just haven't.

But now I've finished a first draft of a new possible chapter book, and I have it to hand out to the group tonight, for them to read at home over the next couple of weeks. Just knowing I had the deadline of the dinner tonight, at six o'clock sharp, with all of seated around the table holding hands, was enough to get me to move heaven and earth to finish it.

Oh, writing group, I love you, and I need you. Merry Christmas, darling writing group.

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