Saturday, April 5, 2008
Stay or Go?
My writing group is trying to self-destruct. What started as a comment of nebulous intent has become a grenade. The shrapnel has already picked off two people, but I fear that more have been wounded. Some, in fact, may already be dead. As for myself, I'm dazed at the moment. Dazed and confused.
We were so seemingly close, reveling in our ability to support each other's endeavors like a rider. (writer/rider, isn't that wonderful?) Firm but gentle. Firm so we know who is in the saddle; gentle so that we don't rip the horse's mouth jerking on the bit.
In a nutshell, here's the deal. Like a good friend of mine says when describing his wife, "She's a sheep dog, but she doesn't know that I'm not a sheep." We're suffering from micromanagement of the top down variety.
The best writing groups I've ever been in were all leaderless. Or, they passed the leadership chores around the circle so that a different person was responsible for all the organizational duties each time we met. That's another thing. We've been meeting, for the most part, every week for a year and a half. That, too takes a toll.
So here I am sitting on this fence. I know if we part, there will be an honest effort for people to keep in touch. But I'm too wise to expect that that will last for any significant length of time. The odds are steep. Think I'll just step back and let things happen. Like working with horses, sometimes animals or in this case entities can tell you things without the power to speak. My group will tell me what to do. I simply need to listen.