In our modern age of mass and instant communication, it seemed like a good idea: a writers’ circle. Each participant submitted 500-1000 words when their turn came up, either something they’d just written or a fragment of something longer. We’d all read and respond and then it would be someone else’s turn. No fuss, no muss.

I was enthusiastic to the point of having 5-10 entries prepared in advance. “Oh, Sally, you’re always such a fast writer,” they’d say. Yeah right. Most of it had been on my hard drive since high school if not earlier.

Plus, I was a speed demon compared to the others as they dropped out one by one.

“Oh, I didn’t have time.”

“I read it but I don’t have any comments.”

“Work was crazy this week.”

It was great, because the excuses simultaneously made me look like an overachiever and also someone who had no life. I had 17 credit hours at school and 40 hours at work and managed to get my writers’ circle work done anyway! Some of my circlemates were bona fide slackers with zero credit hours and 40 hours in their parents’ house.

In the end, the circle lasted two rotations with three stories out of twenty-two participants–two of them mine.