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Doing the Assignment

340. Doing the Assignment

For over a dozen years I ran writing groups in a variety of locations. I called it “Writing Down the Stories of Our Lives.” The goal was to encourage people to write down some of the parts of their lives (I wrote about this in #87 of this series).

We met once a month. We did a piece of instant writing where I gave a prompt, and right on the spot they would write. We would go around the circle and read those with no critique at all—just enjoyment. Another part of our process was to bring something in each time to read to the group. I encouraged the group to be supportive, to listen carefully, and to let the writer know if there were things they didn’t understand. I didn’t tell them what to write for this at-home assignment; I just told them to write.

And usually they did. Occasionally someone would come in with nothing to read and that inspired me to write:

The Writers’ Group

One ought to have something to read

For the group would soon wither to seed

If everyone came

With excuses so lame

One ought to have something to read.

But I like the group whether or not

I’ve brought my inspired little jot

I listen as they

Read their poems away

And I like the group whether or not.

If the Muse doesn’t bite us one bit

And we all come quite willing to sit

We will find it’s a riot

To sit in the quiet

And all hear what nobody writ.

© Copyright 1986 by Ann Freeman Price

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