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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG meets a 12-Step Program & Hi, I'm Mark...

Aloha,

(Walks into a dimly lit side room of a local community center.)

There are several empty chairs in the loose circle and I smile at the few folks who know me.

(If it wasn't for my issue, I'd have more friends, but that's why I'm here.)

People nod and return to sipping the always-tepid coffee served in the always-small Styrofoam cups.

The meeting is called to order.

It's time for the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I decide to go first.

"Hi, I'm Mark and I'm a terrible return commenter. It's been two days since my last reply."

"Hi Mark," comes the uniform response. One or two people nod with sympathy, while a few others disguise their frowns by chewing on day-old oatmeal cookies.

"Would you like to share first, Mark?"

"Sure, Stevanopulous,* I'll go first."

My white plastic chair almost falls as I scramble to stand and face my peers.

Like a shield of dreams (write it, and they will read) I hold WIP close to my chest and half-wave at the group.

"See, it all started nearly three years ago. On a daily basis, I don't have a lot of time to write, and I missed one comment - just one - on a certain post. I felt guilty for ages, but then I missed another... and soon I spiraled out of control."

I look down and caress my ms.

"Then I got hooked on this - I hold up the dog-eared folder - and now I can't stop."

Several people follow my every word - I see the same hunger in their eyes - while others nod sagely and offer smiles of support.

"Mark, let me ask you, have you ever disabled comments?"

"No, but I have deleted many spam comments and have moved emailed comments to a separate folder in my Yahoo inbox. I always mean to go back, but I never find the time. Instead, I take one more hit of ms - I only ever mean to take just one - but I'm soon lost."

Guilt racks me as I look out on the group.

"I'm so sorry. I know I need to do better. I can and I will, I promise."

"It's OK, Mark, your ManCard is safe with us, let the tears fall."

Wipes snotty nose on already damp sleeve.

"Group hug, anyone?"

######


I also wanted to add a huge *Congratulations* to Alex for leading us these last two years of Insecure Writers Support Group, and a very happy second anniversary to one and all :)

To join the growing ranks of the IWSG, please click here.







47 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Its ok. People are happy when you do comment. Beat yourself up if you absolutely must, but keep the other hand free to pat yourself on the back for your other achievements. Superman wasn't a writer, so you don't have to try and fill his shoes as well as your own.

Siv Ottem said...

Loved this post! I think you captured the guilt thing very well. Superman wasn't a writer...lol, what about Clark Kent :)

Melissa said...

Okay. I'm confused (or just stupid :P). I thought your other post was your IWSG.

Too, funny, Mark. xD
But I'm not gonna do a group hug. Unuh. That's where I draw the line.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I loved the scene you set here Mark! Sounds like a support group that I need to attend haha.

Marta Szemik said...

I love this post and can definitely relate! Thank you for this post: really needed to hear I'm not alone ;)

Elise Fallson said...

Does your 12 step program take on new members? I'm just asking for, um, it's for a friend. Ahem...she has the same problems. (;

Johanna Garth said...

I think semi-regular commenting totally counts. At least I count it. For myself. It's all about good intentions, right (let's pretend the whole road to hell and pavement saying doesn't exist!)

Amy McBay said...

Mark, you never fail to crack me up!
I'm a terrible at commenting as well... guess I belong in that circle.

Cassie Mae said...

Don't feel the need to return my comment ;) I haven't looked at my Yahoo in ages! I do return comments on FB and Twitter though...that should count for something, yes?? Right????

Debra McKellan said...

lol I agree with Cassie. I'll return a Twitter comment, but I think it's okay to not respond to every comment you get on your blog.

M.J. Fifield said...

I always love visiting this blog. You never fail to make me grin.

Happy writing, Mark.

Morgan said...

Hahahaha!!! "Shield of Dreams... write it, and they will read" ... If I had been drinking, I would've spit out the liquid. :)

I was sad when this post ended I was so captivated. I love the greedy eyes and the "hit of MS" ... all too true. Soooooo awesome.

This is a post I'm sending to my hubby. He'll LOVE it!

But... you are doing a GREAT job with commenting. So take another hit at your MS and enjoy the ride! :)

David P. King said...

This is just the kind of group I need to attend, Mark. I mean, I don't think I've replied to comments in two months (wait, how am I here then - oh, right! I started to comment just now!) Well, stuff happens, and it seems like a weird ripple effect has happened in the sphere o' blog this summer. School's in, so no more excuses, right? :)

But seriously, thank you for the support you've given lately.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Awesome post. Mucho entertaining!

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

Mark, you could never comment again and we will still love you. haha. Funny post.

Arlee Bird said...

Yeah (sniff), me too. I know what you're saying. I'm bad, especially in the past year or so. But there's only so much we can do I guess. Well, unless you're Alex and I'm still convinced he's got clones helping him.

Don't feel too badly. You're not the only one. Come to think of it, it's been quite some time since I've commented here on your site.

Let me in that group hug.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Those cookies aren't TOO stale. Besides, the company at these meetings is first-rate.

GranTurismo Driver said...

:) post, great blog, following :)

Good Luck :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

We do miss you when you don't visit our blogs and leave comments, but please don't feel too guilty (a little guilt is okay and healthy). We understand that you must be busy and will visit when time will permit.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for the laugh!
Wow, I couldn't handle comments coming to my email inbox. Do you know how many emails I would get every day? Whoa...

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great post. You made me smile. Some days are just like that. I had to back off from posting to one day a week because I'm committed to commenting back (if possible) for everyone who comments. Three times a week meant a lot of time I wasn't writing. It is what it is.

Rena said...

Oh yeah, I struggle to make the return comment quota. I try, but you know, Yoda got that one right. So I do my best. I hope it's enough, but it's what I've got. Good luck!

ilima said...

Comment shmomment. Do what you can do when you can do it, otherwise you'll go crazy. Oh wait, too late. :)

S.P. Bowers said...

I think I need to join this group. But only if they get fresh cookies. And milk. I like milk.

Suzanne Furness said...

I could picture that group Mark! Don't fret there are only so many hours in a day!You always make me smile when I visit here.

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

Great post Mark and I echo your congratulations to Alex.

Yvonne.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

An excellent post on non-commenting guilt Mark. Fun as always.

Elsie Amata said...

I love this post! I can relate after the last couple of months. I fell off the wagon over the summer but I promise to do better...really, I do!!

Elephant's Child said...

Back again. Clark Kent was a writer. Of ephemera. No deathless prose from him. AND Superman didn't write - he left it up to Clark...

Gina Gao said...

This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing your feelings.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Al Diaz said...

Dragon hugs! I think we might share more than the love for Irish music. Don't worry. YOu're not alone. ;)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Mark, We ALL go through times like this!

Sometimes I get around to the blogs; sometimes I don't. Sometimes when I do, I can't think of anything to say.

Sometimes I respond to every comment. Sometimes I delete every email in my In-Box.

Family life, jobs, writing, and sometimes even a little bit of depression eat up the time/energy for blogging. But what's cool is, the other bloggers are still glad to see you when you return.

E.J. Wesley said...

I LOLd at your non-return comment part. :) I think we may have to start another group.

Ella said...

Group hug ;D
I love this post! I know a few poets doing this-no comments. It was odd to see-huh?! I had a comment all figured out while reading it and then left hanging. I could email them instead.
Yes, I am guilty of the same. I am still battling revealing my full self to my husband. He is seeing all my artistic warts and all. It is a balancing act and my muse has been shy. Hang in there-it happens!
YOU are not alone! Pass the old Oatmeal cookies-will ya?!

Heather M. Gardner said...

Hugs for everyone!

We all understand. Really.

Drink up!

Heather

Donna Hole said...

Writers must write my fellow author addict.

*group hug*

You are so forgiven.

.....dhole

Marilyn Parel said...

Luv this post as well as your others. Thanks for sharing.

Julie Luek said...

But look how many of us come back again and again to soak in a little of the Markinator humor? Comments Shmomments. It's all about the love, man.

Nicole said...

"Shield of dreams" is a brilliant phrase! No worries about not always finding time to comment back - I would have been sitting in one of those little plastic chairs too. ;)

Snoop Bloggy Dog said...

Yo Koop!

As pawmised, I is now here on your pawsting after the previous pawsting. Can you dig it?

Yo is well neat n'stuff with dis one, dude. Da meeting and you is like knowin' yo never need worry about comments. Heck, comments can be cool and on my site, comments are usually better than the pawsting. Well, comments are always better when my homie does a "posting", as he would call it.

Gosh to the IWSG and reaching two years old. I think I shall sniff my private parts in celebration!

Stay chillin',

Snoop Bloggy Dog in da Gangsta's Pawadise!

Mark Means said...

No worries, Milt...I think you'll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in your 12 step program...mainly mine! :)

Keep writing and get that manuscript done! :)

Yolanda Renee said...

Too funny! Loved it, I'm am sometimes so bad at the comment thing and then I over compensate because I've been absent. I need to caress my WIP a bit more dearly!

Guilt be damned! :)

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

That was so hilarious! Well done. :) Most of us understand, and some are even jealous that you're so "into" your WIP!

Loved the ending. Writer’s Mark

Meradeth Houston said...

Oh my gosh, too funny! I think we all understand, Mark :) I'm glad you're finding time to work on you ms!

Cortney Pearson said...

Love this post. "Your ManCard is safe with us." LOL!!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Thank you for the entertainment, Mr. Roarke. I laughed out loud and then again. It takes a courageous man to openly divulge his commenting habits. I hope it provided true catharsis.

Happy weekend!
xoRobyn

Bonnee Crawford said...

Ha awesome post :) Happy 2nd anniversary to the IWSG!

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