Thursday, 16 September 2010

Write Club - not for the faint-hearted

Whether you're a beginner, suffering from writer's block or just want a break from that god-damned serious novel you're working on to have some fun - Write Club is for you.

James Burt and Ellen De Vries run a monthly event at the Skiff in Brighton. People get together, not to fight but to write flash fiction or poetry. The evening is divided into different rounds where the participants are invited to write for either 2,3,4,5 or 10 minutes inspired by a picture projected on the wall.

The first rule is: Don't apologise

That's why Write Club is not for the faint-hearted. After each round you have to read out loud what you have written. But the great thing is that nobody is allowed to apologise. This adds to the atmosphere and takes away some of that seriousness and pressure. Nobody expects you to come up with a masterpiece in five minutes. Although some of the writing is so good it makes me jealous ...

I've mentioned it before, but I think all writers whether professional or not, need time to PLAY. I often make the mistake of just sitting down thinking "now I'm going to work on this particular story" and then I feel frightened and blocked. To get going I need to write a lot of rubbish before I begin. Write Club helps you to keep the writing muscles going. Just like a runner is stupid to do a marathon without exercising beforehand a writer is stupid to write a novel without doing some exercises now and again. I don't think I'll use any of the stuff I wrote at Write Club to work on. I joined in for sheer pleasure, pen against paper, letting the stream of conciousness flow ...

As a bonus a piece of cake was thrown in as inspiration among the photographs at the last session. For ten minutes you were supposed to write about your cake-eating experience, but as I'm having a sugar free (and alcohol-free) month I got an apple instead ...

This is part of what I wrote:

"You can't eat an apple in silence.
Not the kind of snack you reach for in a tent
with somebone sleeping next to you.
You'd want something soft
like a banana, or a cake ..."

Next Write Club session is in October, but James and Ellen are also hosting other workshops. Check it out here.

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