In the first class (last Wednesday night) we jumped into writing and reading out loud. It is daunting and scary to read something you wrote on the fly. You are tempted to make excuses and immediately taint what your readers hear, how you feel. But it is exhilarating when you listen. Not just because you get a view into the emotions and connections that are created by something you wrote. But also, you get to learn and riff off each other. Reflecting back to the writer right then and there and learning from the observations of others. Having someone articulate what you felt is not only validating but educational.
By the second class (yesterday) we found our groove. And the writing has begun to build on itself. One writer picks up the details of another (Ikea plates). Or two writers - prompted by the same word (dishes) - have counter responses to a piece, reading it for our comparison. Writing grows and expands the themes within one writers repertoire and then within the entire group. Finally, beneath the layers that we have written and read away, we found something else - a nugget of anger, a whole bunch of attitude, some crazy dirty character (or two) who makes everyone laugh. There was a whole lotta that and amazement going on last night.
Also Rachel (my writing and now teaching sister) designed a couple writing exercises, ones meant to get us out of the regular mode of narration. They stopped and turned us as we wrote, sending us in whole new directions. And there's an assignment. This week we will choose any section that we read aloud and spend time taking it further. That is up for interpretation - the taking it further part. It shall be fun to see where the words go next.
So often in writing we labor by ourselves. It is by nature a solitary work and so much of it begins and ends with you. YOU need to sit down and do the work, it is YOUR thoughts, ideas and handwriting on the page and finally YOU are the one at risk when you send it out and about in the world. But there is so much energy in writing with others, whether they sit beside you while you put pen to paper, collaborate with you as you write something new, or teach you as they respond to your work.
Soon a few will meet in cyberspace when they are done with an hour of work. YOU can too. Write with us and then discuss books, drafting vs. revising, writers block, loneliness - you name a writers' difficulty du jour and we are bound to hash it out in the practice room. As always find the schedule through the door on the right.
"I Can See It in Your Eyes" by Men At Work, 1982
7 hours ago