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Archive for the ‘Writing Group’ Category

I didn’t post yesterday as I was too busy resting on my laurels, as they say!

Thursday’s open mic night went brilliantly, far better than I anticipated: we had about 10 performers (most got up more than once), ran for an hour and a half, the venue was full and at the end a number of people asked when I was arranging the next one. And when I said November, they wanted one sooner!!

It was a huge relief, and a real buzz.

We had mostly poetry, a mix of self-penned originals and recitation of published works, but also some singing and storytelling.  For a small community, we have a lot of talent!

I can’t say how happy I am that our event was so well received; I only expected about 5 people to turn up (3 of them my family!) so to have a full house was way beyond my imagination!

Now I have to start thinking about next time!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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Let’s start with the slight panic.

The open mic event is coming along fast, the advert is out and the local community aware. Unfortunately, an emergency local meeting has been booked at the same time as our event.

Naturally, this has an impact on who can take part: some of the writing group might miss our own event!

My best plan is to move our event forward by one hour and hope this minimises the issue. However I have gone from frustrated to upset to sanguine and back round a few times over the weekend!

If all else fails I will keep in mind the immortal cover words from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Don’t Panic

Beyond that, it’s all progressing pretty nicely.  We’ve got a few performers lined up, the performance poetry is shaping up well and there is a new vigour in Creativity Corner. The writing group has been joined by a painter and we are going to open up Thursday nights for a selection of creative ventures – hopefully a dedicated space with different artistry will bring us all some new inspiration.

In the meantime I am having dragons painted on my shoes, which will keep me happy for months!

There is still no time for reading properly, although I gave myself Saturday night off anything in particular so I could watch Doctor Who. It was raining and miserable outside and I needed some escapism, so I went right back to the start of the reboot.

Sometimes you just need to switch off thinking, stop thinking about rhyme schemes, and watch a wooden box fly through space…

I am back to work now though.  From now until we go away for the family wedding I will be trying to finish my current work in progress; when I get back I have 3 days to choose my pieces.

I am amazingly confident I will have a good selection to share!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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I’ve been at writing group tonight, and inevitably much of the discussion was about our open mic night.

I have written the spooky poem but I think it needs a concluding stanza, so we discussed that.  I don’t think the others were in quite the same headspace as me though; there was a push to make it funny!

I also talked about the start of my Wild Swans poem, although that isn’t one for the open mic.

I was working on it at lunchtime today, and I am happy with the way it is coming together.  The quote got me thinking about mindless drones and that has informed my approach.

I won’t say anything more yet but I hope to share the finished article with you all.

Finally, I helped another writer with their work.  I have a very different writing style and approach to them, but I can help with the editing process – identifying discrepancies in rhythm, rhyme schemes which alter unexpectedly, and so on.  It’s a really important part of the group, such as it is, to share what we have learnt in our work .

In the spirit of sharing, this is an old technique that often gets forgotten: always read your work out loud.  You can hear if a line sounds right, or a word is too hard, a syllable extra needed and so on.

This applies particularly to poetry, but other writing can also be improved by listening to it. Try it and see if it works for you!

That’s all for today.  It’s just gone midnight and my coach turned into a pumpkin…

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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Firstly, sorry for the failure to post.  Internet issues, power cuts and early nights all got in the way.  I have yet to finish the book though, so you didn’t miss anything on Tuesday!

And although I have been slacking off here, I have been achieving in my writing.  Not only have I been working on a poem inspired by a significant anniversary (a poem I intend to pass on in due course) but I actually used my writing group support to improve and develop it.

I also put the pedal to the metal to get myself out and sharing by organising an open mike event.  I say organising, but really I just raised the idea with the right person and now it’s booked!

After a shaky writing time I am really pleased to get back on the right track.  In my writing group today I saw the payoff of a new approach and really feel positive about getting more poetry written.

Which is good, as I will need something to read at the open mike!

I am going to leave it there for today as I need to hit the hay pretty soon. Plus I still don’t trust my internet!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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It was writing group today and we decided to try a new venue.  Most of us live in very close proximity and with our new pub opening recently it seemed sensible to try it out for the group arrangement.

It worked really well, with a cosy corner to sit and chat, and during our visit we also discussed regular writing sessions (rather than discussions) and an open mike event.

When I raised them with the landlord he was very positive.

So from now on, I am going to work in the pub, quietly in a corner, at least one day a week.

Going somewhere and absorbing the atmosphere – whatever that happens to be – will enable me to access different thoughts or emotions, which I can then filter into poetry.

I am really excited about it and am starting tomorrow to see how it goes.  I might sit alone or with my writing friends, but either way I will be working to fill a space in my writing process, which is always good!

So roll on tomorrow, when I can get even more done!!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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Sorry – Christmas is seeping in everywhere already and the music just popped into my head!

This is a mid-week post rather than a random thoughts post, because it’s turned into quite a good writing day. Not for actual, physical writing – don’t expect too much of a Thursday 😉 – but for engaging with my work again.

It began at my monthly writing group. I don’t always find myself coming home full of writing vim and vigour, but this time it just seemed to click for me.

Firstly, I shared my new plan to the group, explaining that I felt I had lost my way with writing at least since I got ill in June. Maybe before, but definitely then.

I explained that I was going to approach it differently, and how that looked.

I talked about my novel, about the story, the theme and the underlying message, and why I felt I needed to look at it again with clearer eyes and see what weaknesses remain – I had an offer of help with this too.

And last but not least, I chatted with someone not in the group, who was interested in talking about writing once he knew why we were there. It was the kind of conversation that fills me with positivity, because we inspired him to talk about something completely new.  He told me he wrote a journal, about his favourite book, about his interest in literature.  It was a chance conversation but it left a really warm feeling.

So today was a good writing day, even without any writing – and I wanted to celebrate it with you all in the hope it will be just what you need one day, too.

Happy writing,
EJ
🙂

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Well, the editing didn’t get finished as hoped, but that’s fairly standard – it always takes longer than I expect and there’s been quite a few other life distractions that have cut into my working time.  I just have to keep on tracking down all those little niggles and smoothing them out for a little bit longer.

I need to get it done before 1 March though, because I don’t want it hanging about for too long: I’ll be really busy with my paid job after that for a little while, and I probably won’t get a lot of writing time.

I have one other piece of writing work to get done this week too – an exercise for writing group.  I kind of feel that I have to do it as it’s the ‘homework’ I set people, to try out a particular technique and see if it helps them.  Much as I find with the blog, I never really know what people will want from one month to the next, but I figure it’s good to share exercises and approaches that work for me because worst case scenario, they won’t work for someone else – there’s no risk factor.

Anyway, rather than talk about what I haven’t done, I’m going to share some positives…

  • I got my tickets to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • I got a costume sorted out for a charity 1920’s dinner party next weekend
  • I planned a trip to see family in the North of England
  • I arranged not one but two reunions with school friends  It’s a big anniversary year this year so I have quite a few events with different people to plan!

So not all bad; in fact some pretty cool ticks on the list this week – they’re just not quite where I was intending to tick.

But I take the good where I can.

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

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