Today was the very first meeting of Kessingland Library Creative Writing Group. The Friends of the Library in Kessingland (FOLK) have started up a few new groups at the library (book group, art group) and I'm in charge of the writing group - eeps! I was very pleased with the number of people who came along. My dad came with me, and there were five other people, who all had something different to bring to the group. I'm really looking forward to hearing what else they have up their sleeves.
I started off by introducing myself and asking everyone else to introduce themselves, explaining what they like to write. Most hadn't written before and were hoping to come away with ideas and inspiration.
I set everyone a task to write non-stop for five minutes as a way of getting the creative juices flowing. It doesn't matter what you write about, as long as you keep writing. Some found the five minutes fairly short, and others found it far too long.
Writing is difficult when your pen doesn't want to work as soon as it hits the paper, but a few angry attempts will usually get the ink flowing. Oh what a lovely allegory for the writing process. Sometimes I have to scream at my computer for a few minutes before writing in the hope that a few words appear on the blank screen but that never happens. I often think that it might be a good idea to slam my head down on the keyboard and write a book that way. Don't they say that a million monkeys with a million typewriters could take a million years to write the entire works of Shakespeare? Maybe if I smashed my head on the keyboard a million times then maybe I could write a masterpiece. Or perhaps it would just end up as the normal gobbeldigoop that I produce when I'm fully conscious. At least the p
I then explained that a good piece of advice when writing is to write what you know. It's a good idea to use your own experiences as a basis for a story, as you can make it realistic. You can obviously embellish the truth, but you'll always have a starting point if you write about what you know. So our next task was to write about something that had happened to us over the past week. It didn't matter if it was really boring or really exciting. It was just to write about what we knew.
I'm a sale shopper. Most of the clothes in my wardrobe came from the sales. I'm not bothered about fashion or about what's this season and what's last. They're clothes. As long as I like them that's all that matters. So with the January sales I bought a big old load of new clothes, and saved over £90 in the process. One thing I bought was a pair of dungarees. Now I know that dungarees are only worn by pregnant women or three year old children, and I also know that I'm not pregnant, nor am I three. But I added them to my online shopping basket nonetheless. When they arrived I wasn't sure, but I've adopted the mantra of 'New Year, New Me'. I'm taking a more positive outlook on life and trying not to worry about what other people think. It's easier said than done, but it's about time that I was happy. So I put on these dungarees and I loved them. They are so comfortable. But I'd forgotten what a pain they are when you need to go to the toilet. I remember when I was little, nearly wetting myself while my mum tried to unclip the straps from the body of the dungarees. I'd be hopping from one foot to the other while she fiddled and faffed with the metal hooks and buttons. And this fiddling and faffing transpires into adulthood. I was at work and I needed a wee. I managed to tangle myself up inside my cardigan with straps running down my sleeves. One false move and I would be wearing a straight-jacket. Going for the wee didn't cause any problems, but trying to get myself dressed afterwards was a bit of a feat.
Homework for next time is to write up to 500 words about a place using all five senses. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 26th February, 10:30-11:30 am.