There have been some amazing comments that have come in regarding my last post. Those comments, from one person in particular, have left me very humbled.
Pat is the soul of our group and has been interviewed here before about her poetry (www.poetrypause.wordpress.com). She said something that not just made me pause, but made me stumble to a frozen halt, feeling like I’d just created a blog post that was nothing more than self-centered complaining.
Pat said (and I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting): “I will always stand for the comfort zone we all need as writers. I could never agree that any writers are too comfortable or boring or repetitive. The process itself is just too darn hard. If we’re writing at all, let alone finishing stuff, that is miracle enough for most of us I think!! We want and need support in all that.”
Did you catch that? I mentioned I worried that members of the group were too safe. Pat points out that just the act of writing means we aren’t in a safe place. While I have been worrying that people are too comfortable, too willing to sacrifice writing time for visiting time, I haven’t been giving them credit for simply showing up.
Pat then very gently said my dissatisfaction may not be from feeling like facilitating the group is as hard as pushing jello uphill, but more from me not getting what I myself need out of the group. Of course, being Pat, she said it a very kind way: “You need to think of what YOU need, because I can’t imagine with your level of imagination, as WELL as social finesse, you are limited in what you can do.”
In other words, if I’m not getting what I need out of the group, then it’s up to me to change that. Another friend, author Susan Schreyer, said basically the same thing, and gave me some wonderful ideas.
I think the lesson is starting to sink in.
Pat finished the email with this: “I can’t imagine I’m alone in knowing what I owe you in support and ingenious questioning drawing out. I’m less than two years out in finalizing (as opposed to 13 years back at the start of this year) and my blog site is entirely at your evocation! You have much power. GO for that in your life! I want to hear about it as I do the grungy detail work of finishing stuff, day by day, due to your own exemplary work. I am blessed to know you and to have been a part of the group. I can’t imagine anything you have done is “over” – but I do hope you find what you want and need – so that you can HEAR all our gratitude.”
Okay, I hear you Pat. And I hope you hear the apology in these words. And I’ll see you the end of the month at the writer’s group.