If you've never been fortunate enough to attend a WW meeting, here's how they work...
When you arrive at your weekly meeting, you get in line for your weigh in. (Usually you commiserate with the woman next to you about how "bad" you were that week.) Then it's your turn you step on the scale - not before removing shoes and emptying your pockets of cell phone, keys, change, and lint. Only the WW employee can see your weight. She jots it down in your progress folder. If you lost weight, she'll congratulates you. If you gained weight she'll ask you where you went wrong?
After your weigh in you join the others for your "group session". A WW leader kicks off the meeting by giving out prizes (like bookmarks, stickers or key chains) to those who've lost 5lbs, 20lbs, 10% or attained their goal weight. If you are a success this is your chance to share your story and receive polite applause.
The final portion of the meeting is run by the WW leader. She gives out recipes and advice for the upcoming week. (Fat-free Cool Whip plus fat-free pudding plus a can of light fruit cocktail equals 3-point Thanksgiving dessert.) Your hour is over. You say good-bye to your fellow WW classmates and vow to do better next week.
This is the kind of writing group I need.
Each week I'll carry in my typed pages. As I wait in line I'll ask the guy next to me, "How did ya do?" Of course, he'll have done great - finishing his third novel of the year.
When it's my turn, I'll hand over my pages to the woman running the word-count machine. I'll make excuses as the calculator churns.
"The kids were sick."
"My in-laws came to visit."
"HBO ran an Entourage marathon."
The woman behind the table will shake her head. 819 words. Not a good week when my daily goal is 1000.
"Stick with it," she'll say to be encouraging. "Everyone has an off week." Or seven.
I'll sit alone as the meeting begins. I won't want anyone to ask me for my numbers. The leader will hand out pens to those who wrote more than 10,000 words in the last week. A new journal will go to the few who've completed their novel. And a paperweight to the one gal who signed with a New York publisher since our last meeting. She'll receive around of jealous applause. (And I'll be certain to ask for a reference when I get to that step of the publishing process.)
The leader will then pepper us with encouragement and advice.
"Get up early and write before anyone else in the house is awake," she'll say.
"Set daily goals and share them with your spouse. Ask for support."
"Don't waste time writing in a diary and definitely do NOT blog."
"Write what you know."
"Remember JK Rowling received 12 rejections on her first Harry Potter book."
And even though "12 rejections" is nothing. I'll leave the meeting feeling revived, enthusiastic, motivated, on-my-way to greater things, and a bit hungry. I'll rush home to my computer (with drive-thru in hand) check e-mails, pop on Facebook, update my Blog (something really short), check the clearance sandals on Landsend.com and then, if time allows, I'll write.