For last night's Gwrych Creative Writing group I had planned to do an exercise called "Stolen Moments" and was going to discuss this busy season of Christmas/December and how we need to find stolen moments to unwind and regroup as writers somehow. Well no one turned up for the group and my husband wasn't coming home till around the time the group was supposed to finish so I had over an hour all to myself. Now there were loads of things I could have done - jobs that needed doing - but instead I curled up on the couch with dog and cat and read. It was very much what I needed to regroup myself.
I often get asked what the writing groups are like so I thought I would write this about last Wednesday's "Write Your Life Story" group.
Each group is very different depending on the people who attend. Although most do involved as much talking as there is writing. Writers are storytellers so once given a safe place to chat with other like minded people this is what they do; tell their tales. I have discovered each person loves to hear other tales as much as they love to tell theirs. But what does go on Wednesdays at the Write Your Life Story times at Gwesty Glyndwr, Pensarn? Read on to find out :)
My group asked me the other day about how to use real people in their memoir writing. I wish I had found this quote when I was looking for information to share with them.
Mark Twain said,
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
Life has been full and interesting over the last few weeks so I have made some changes to the dates of workshops. From now on both the "Write Your Life Story" and the "Gwrych Writing Group" will meet during the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month. This gives some continuity to my life as well as yours
Occasionally I send letters to those on my mailing list via Tinyletter.com. I have had to do the GDPR thing and hopefully have deleted who I should and kept who I should but you can never be too sure. Not that I would share any contact details with anyone without their permission. But I thought I would share the newsletter :)
I always say that to attend my writing workshops it does not matter what level of writing you are at - beginner or already published - because they are fun and pull ideas out. But what amazes me is the standard of storytelling that I get to hear. People are amazing storytellers. Someone said that the thing that makes humans different from animals is their love of story telling. Whatever we do we have to turn it into an event.
But what I see week after week is these amazing people who can write so well that really all I am there for it to get that out of them.
Last night I had three amazing ladies at the workshop. One who has been with me since I started, one that joined last summer and one who is relatively new. The standard of work that comes from the rough work we do is amazing. As I have to keep saying this is unedited, raw work and yet some of it would win competitions even before editing.
But if you have not attended a Barefoot At The Kitchen Table workshop before do not be put off. Come and see what you have hidden inside that you were not sure was there. Each session stands alone so do not feel like you are coming on a course. Just come and see what comes forth :)
Every other Wednesday from 11am-12.30 "Write Your Life Story" at Pensarn. £5 per person per session - plus bring an extra £2 for delicious cake and tea or coffee
Thursdays - afternoons from 1.30-3pm and then 6.30-8pm in the Countess's Writing Room at Gwrych Castle, Abergele. £7.50 per person per session with £2.50 going to The Gwrych Preservation Trust.
All of us need routine and discipline but we also need support. I always think for those of us who are writers but also have other jobs (for myself I have 2 self-employed jobs plus 1 volunteering job) that finding that time and space to write is so hard. And as I was saying to my class yesterday to be a good writer you also need to find time to read, which is something people again push to one side and don't see as important.
So my routine ...
No matter what you say we all have insecurities that inhibit our writing. Perhaps one day I should set a workshop that just gives us writing prompts on our insecurities. My friend Jan from Cinnamon Press gave the prompt "Why do I write?" the other day. That can cause great angst even though it was meant to encourage; why do I bother to write? what is the point of writing? etc
As i said in my last post I'm editing a novel and writing a book about a project. It all sounds so simple when put like that but the "how?" question comes to mind and as I've just had a revelation in how to make my novel come together I thought I'd share it. There nearly as many ways to write a novel as there are novelists so for each of us we have to pick the one that works for us.