Friday, April 1, 2011

Do Your Part

I've always believed that members of any organization or club should do their part. If every member occupied a chair at a meeting, or your own chair if it's an online group, absorbed all the good stuff, and that's all, then those groups would die fast. No matter how big or small, any organized group requires people to run it. Even if you don't have elected officers, someone still must do the grunt work.

My online group, wac, has a moderator who spends a great deal of time overseeing the group. Hers is a labor of love, for you'd have to enjoy what you're doing enough to make it work. We're most fortunate in having Joyce Finn as moderator. She truly cares about the people in the group. Yes, she gets frustrated at times, but that's normal for anyone in a position like this. One thing that helps her is to have members pass around monthly duties that she might otherwise need to do herself.

We have a Random Word exercise on a weekly basis, so we each take a month and send out the 'word' for each week of that month. Some people open the dictionary, close their eyes, and let their finger land wherever. Some rather interesting words have come from that method. Others use words found in a book they might be reading, while some relate the four or five words for the month to a theme of some sort. It's the Random Word person's choice as to how she chooses the words. Many of them are very common, basic, almost generic words, while others are exotic, seldom-heard words.

Another job at wac is keeping the log. Every submission, critique, and comment is noted on a spreadsheet. Joyce was doing that herself for a long time. It helped her know who was meeting their commitment, what submissions needed more critiques,and  who was doing the Random Word exercises. She posts the log mid-month and end of month for members to look at. Seeing your numbers in black and white can be either satisfying or jolting. We've been passing this job around on a monthly basis, too. My month begins today. I have the spreadsheet saved in a file, and I will keep track of everyone's subs and crits etc. The first time I did it, I worried it might take too much time, but it really did not, and in the long run, I rather enjoyed the task.

I belong to wac so I feel I need to do my part in helping keep the group alive and well. If group or club members each do a small amount, it works. If only one or two do it all, they soon get burned out and the entire thing ends up crumbling. It all boils down to this--if you receive something in life, give something back. You'll reap rewards in both instances. Next time you're asked to help out, do your part. You'll end up a winner.

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