A Very Productive Meeting Nonetheless

Earlier in the week I’d looked at my calendar and was reminded that I had a meeting today.

It’s for a group of writers/journalists who meet for networking, sharing of information such as story ideas and different print/online media publications, discussion of current projects, occasional guidance and instruction from our mentor and the group’s founder (Jo Parfitt), and some old-fashioned chit chat.

We meet once a month, and while a small core of attendees tends to remain the same, there is usually a new face or two. Attendees come from all over South Holland, have worked in a range of fields, and are interesting and well-spoken. Discussions are lively, and there is a nice buzz of energy present.

Because meetings are only monthly, we use them both as a way to be accountable to each for certain work projects (e.g., articles, interviews and reviews) and inspired. Writing can be a solitary venture, yet put two or more writers together and things get going. Ideas are bounced off each other, suggestions offered. The synergy is palpable.

So it wasn’t surprising that as I plowed through this work week, I kept the fact that we were meeting firmly in the back of my mind. As I worked on some hot projects, I managed to shuffle in a few other tasks I needed to finish and report on to the group.

I did some research, made some contacts, tracked down a few links, tied up some loose ends and finished a couple projects. I reviewed last month’s notes, and made a list of the things I would be expected to address in my status update. I pulled out a magazine I needed to share with Jo, and made sure everything I needed was in one place, ready to go.

As I took the tram downtown, I realized that I was looking forward to seeing the mix of fascinating people who would show up this month. I rang the door bell, smiling and ready for another stimulating meeting.

Except that there wasn’t a meeting. I’d mixed up the dates, and so was a week early.


Jo was her usual charming self, but had houseguests so couldn’t chat. I backed out, highly embarrassed and apologizing profusely.

As I retraced my steps back to the tram stop, my embarrassment slowly faded. I took stock of the situation.

The sun was shining. I’d awakened early to deal with email and other social media communications and to get a few other nagging tasks done before I’d left the house. I didn’t have to rush home worried about meeting any particular deadline. What’s more, I had a free hour or two.

I’d accomplished a fair amount, all because of a planned meeting. The fact that the meeting didn’t take place was not the point. The meeting itself had spurred the necessary action.

In the end, the meeting that wasn’t turned out to be a very productive meeting indeed.


Image credit: Renjith Krishnan portfolio 721 freedigitalphotos.net




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