Here is a post from songwriter and music publisher Jack Cooper from a songwriting social media group:

“Hey, here’s a songwriterly question I though I might throw out here. What do you go looking for when you visit song circles/open stages? When I first started going out to open stages regularly ’bout twenty years ago, it was mostly for the performing experience- how to perform under a ton of different conditions and before both supportive and non-supportive audiences.
This evolved over the years to where the main benefit I derive from doing originals at circles and open stages is for editing. You know those twinges you get when you sing something that doesn’t feel quite right? I would note those and revise parts of the lyrics/music that makes me flinch.”

So – where are you on the spectrum of reasons to come out and play? What’s your motivation? What do you take away with you?