Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Conservative Fly in the Ointment, Part 2

Several months ago, I posted about a member that was causing quite a stir within my writer's group. (Read that post here) I worried over how to deal with it without causing harm to my personal ideals, the members of my group, and the 'offender', himself.

Then, he didn't come for many months, so I never approached him about the issues, beyond what had been said in the group at the time of his last reading.

Recently, he informed me that he was out of town through the winter, which leads me to believe he plans to return to the group. So, I sent him the following message:

"Hope you are having a good trip - out of the country, you say? Exciting! 

I have to let you know, the writers group is definitely interested in reviewing CREATIVE writing of all kinds, but every time there has been a member bringing more political writing, the response has been frustrating. We cannot spend time debating political and religious content of these kinds of pieces (not just yours, there was also a liberal non-fic writer who has brought pieces in the past, although I must admit the two of you are the rare exceptions to the type of writing we usually critique). It's nothing personal, and I wish you luck with your work, but for future meetups, please only bring creative writing - this includes fiction, narrative non-fiction, poetry, screenplays, etc. 

Perhaps there is a political debate group that might suit your needs? Or possibly you could find people within the Toastmasters organization to meet with for help with hashing out ideas and writing critique? 

I appreciate your participation in the group, and wish you the best. I hope there are no hard feelings, and if you do write something in the creative style, please come join us."

I know, some members would like to just never have in the group again, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable expelling him. If he should write something that fits with the very broad spectrum of our focus on writing, he should be able to attend, in my opinion. Then again, there's the whole comfort-level issue of the other members....

It's not like my group is a closed group. It is open, and we have new people come and go all the time, in addition to regular attendees. Even the regulars - the core group - changes from year to year, slowly morphing with add-ins and drop-offs.

It's not easy being in charge, LOL. But I wanted to post the update, and say that I did step up and address it.

Thoughts are welcome!

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