I have mixed feelings about a reading event in the near future. It is something the writer’s group I belong to has coordinated and at first I thought, sure why not. Then as one week went by, then two weeks, I thought more about it. We have one writer in the group who is working on publishing a book of poetry that should be ready by then and she has other books published. She will be the featured author of the event; the rest of us will follow on her coattails and have the opportunity to read a small sampling from each of our work.
I think it’s wonderful for the others, but as I think about my own participation, it feels too much like putting the horse before the cart—I can’t remember the proper saying, but you know what I mean. I am part of the writer’s group to get feedback on my writing and to give feedback, to develop as a writer, not to share my unpublished work in person with others, who may not even be interested. Sharing our readings with an audience is an idea that came up shortly after I joined the group. I’m thinking out loud here, so I can get a sense of where I am and how I feel. I think I’m leaning toward not participating. I can see why the group wants to do this, yet I am having trouble seeing how useful it is to present ourselves as a writer’s group and here is what we write. I write for myself and for the interested reader—interested being the key word.
I suppose it just feels premature and perhaps it also has to do with being clumped into the group. Contrary to being in a writer’s group, I’ve never been much for groups. It’s only recently that I realize one or two groups couldn’t hurt—the other being a book club, which I haven’t attended yet. I want my writing to stand independently, not as part of the group. That is not to sound as horrible as it may, but hopefully the meaning is understood. I put myself out there by blogging, and I am so very thankful for my readers and anyone who comments. One day if I do publish a book, then I will be happy to do a reading, but until then, it just doesn’t feel right in my bones. Perhaps I’m looking at this too narrowly
My sense is the group wants to be heard by a wider audience than just the current group members, but they seem to want to do it in an in person forum. I think I’m going to sit this one out.