I know, I know… I shuddered just typing “business meetings” but these aren’t the kind you have to bring a last-minute PowerPoint and a giant coffee to. Unless you just want to. (Hey, I’m not judging.)
Believe it or not, the Ferrets do hold business meetings a few times a year. We take ourselves seriously (at least sometimes) and know that to make it to the level of creative career we want to see… sometimes you’ve got to have a bit of order to the insanity. It’s been a trial and error process, but I think we’ve mostly gotten sorted out what works best for us.
1. Hold the Meeting at a Reasonable Time of Day
For us that usually equals noon. Early enough in the day we have plenty of time to get things done and late enough in the day we all should be awake. Theoretically.
2. Serious First Doesn’t Always Work… Okay, It Never Does
Food. Food is what works first. It’s lunchtime, okay! Also we’re Ferrets (metaphorically or not) and we love food. There is usually tea of some kind sitting on the table and then a range of food depending on recent holidays and current mood settings. For our last meeting, Rebekah made us her delicious kielbasa and cabbage while I brought homemade chocolate chip banana cookies. If we aren’t chewing, we are discussing and fussing at steadily increasing levels of volume. Some of us don’t see one another too often, so there’s lots to say!
3. Someone Has to Declare It Time to be Serious… or It Will NEVER HAPPEN (Probably)
Michelle is usually our most level-headed Ferret here. A glance at the clock, a glance at the things we want to discuss, remembering how we tend to take longer talking through things than even we plan for…
4. We Should Probably Talk About the Blog
You guys are happy we do that, right? We hope so. This is still very much a work in progress, but we feel like we’ve grown a lot and are much more organized than even a year ago let alone further back, like when one of us said “Let’s write a blog.” At this last meeting a couple of weeks ago we managed to plan out all FOUR (not counting NaNoWriMo) series you will see on the blog in 2017. There will be additional posts along the way as well and we hope to bring back the “Ferrets on the Road” and “Ferrets on the Town” segments as often as time and money allow. The first of those should be up in just a few weeks!
5. Hatching Other Plans for World Domination
Are we planning a retreat? Do we have ideas on future options to get the Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society more visible? Does someone have a 20-year vision of us? Now’s the time for us to talk about it.
6. Personal Planning and Plotting… for World Domination
Our number one priority at a Ferret meeting is, of course, the condition and future of our writing group. But we are also individual writers, artists, and crafters, and we have our own personal goals. We aren’t just a collective with one goal, we’re a cheerleading squad for the personal plans and victories of all our members. (Whoa, that makes us sound big and official!) We go around the table and each discuss the things we want to achieve, the time frames we are giving ourselves, and the plans we’ve hatched to make it work. We talk about the things holding us back and the things we’ve learned from prior attempts. We encourage each other to either lessen or strengthen our goals, based on what we know about the person in question. We’re one another’s accountability squad. And you can’t be accountable if you don’t own up to your dreams and disappointments both.
7. Allow Mayhem to Descend
After a last round of “Is there anything else important we should discuss and haven’t?”, we let the, er, ferrets out? In other words, all bets are off. Some of us scatter immediately, having other things to do. Some of us stick around and chat for awhile longer. Some of us have to be forced out when the Ferret hosting the meeting (usually Rebekah) goes “I NEED SLEEP. YOU MUST LEAVE.” None of us take offense to that though, no matter the house or host. We’re all well aware that at times we can get talking or plotting into far later (earlier?) hours than we should. This firm decree just means the one it is directed at realizes, “Oops. I wasn’t paying attention to the time. It was lovely spending time with you!” and goes on their way.
That’s a brief glimpse into the workings of a Ferret meeting. Do you have a writing group that holds meetings? Or do you participate in any other kind of creative meeting? Tell us about it in the comments!