Friday, September 28, 2007

Warning: Grumpiness Ahead

No one likes to read grumpy rants. I'm sure of it. But tonight I am irritated, grumpy and generally unbalanced.

It's been a long week at work. That's all I'm going to say about that.

I'm averaging 17 hour days between getting up and going to work, taking care of the kids, writing, studying and doing activities like the Beaver Walk this past week. By Friday, today, I'm pretty much done.

But I had a meeting to attend tonight. I sent a notice out to the members of my writing group, asking them to attend this Very Important Meeting. We were to plan the coming year. I wanted to know what they wanted, what types of meetings/speakers/locations... they pay to be a part of this national organization and they pay a chapter fee. I wanted to make it worth their while.

No one showed up. A possible attendance of almost 30... and no one showed.

Demoralized would be one word. Cranky another. I could even try mad on for a while. But the question begs to be asked: Why?

I really want this writing group to succeed. I really want to meet face-to-face with the writers, talk shop, learn, grow, develop. We've had some good meetings - web site copy, editorial panel, freelancing tips, marketing to editors - with very poor attendance.

What seems, for some reason, to be even worse is that I have several non-members on my email list. Lots of them show up and despite the note that it's $5 a meeting for non-members... in a year only one has ever paid. And then they request topics or locations... and honestly? Tonight I just want to say "pay your membership fee and then we'll talk".

Because in my work/life balance... this is unbalancing me. Major Man works from about 3 pm to 9 pm most days. I asked him to come home early (5:30) so I could attend this meeting. And no one showed. So not only did I waste my time, I wasted his as well.

The opinions on why people don't show vary from "the time doesn't work for me" to "the topics don't interest me" to "I have XYZ to do". Really, I think that the problem is that here in our city there's too much money, too much opulence, too many opportunities. A few years of making no money, barely scraping by or having to compete for work might change things... it might make the writers a little more willing to liaise with other writers, seek comfort from their kind.

But it doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon. People don't care. I'm starting not to care. I have my online group, they are enough.

1 comment:

Angela Williams Duea said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you put all that effort into a meeting that didn't work out. I'm sure you're right about the affluence - there's a big difference between people who kind of want to be a writer and those whose families depend on it. I'd have been there if we were in the same town - I desperately need it! How did you find your online group?