In a moment of weakness, I thought of going to the writer’s group tonight. In another moment of weakness, I remembered what that one guy said about how he doesn’t like it when people read long form fiction at the group. That one guy is not the owner of the group but I can’t get it out of my head that he will harass me if I decide to read the story I had prepared.
So was the moment of weakness when I considered going anyway or when I decided I just couldn’t go to a writer’s group where poetry was more prevalent than fiction? Maybe it was when I realized that I couldn’t read this story in ten minutes or less.
People always act as if all I do is complain. But I’m just telling you what happened, this person got into my personal space on my way home, late at night, and complained about how the last person who read something read a long form story. This person was immediately critical and practically warned me against reading whatever I might decide to read at the next meeting. It’s all well and good for other people to play hindsight detective and tell me that I shouldn’t let him bother me. But he might still be there and he would be like every other bully and jerk I was forced to put up with in school and in work, and what motive is there to put up with him on purpose? What’s the risk reward ratio?
It’s also well and good to present magical thinking as evidence. Some might think that if I show up at the group, I’ll be able to sell my books. But if they don’t like long form fiction why would that follow into their buying my book which is full of long form fiction? That’s like saying, “I don’t eat meat but I’ll buy the steak and eggs you’re selling”.