A friend and I run several creative writing groups and today I am going to an open day to try to encourage more people to join us. we do it voluntarily, the only cost to our group members is 30p towards refreshments. I have attended similar open days for the last two years, run by the U3A (University of the Third Age – an organisation offering free classes for everything you could imagine, for its members and taught by its members)
I know from the previous open days that lots of people will stop and chat and will say ‘Oh I would love to write! I’d love to write a book!‘ and I will invite them to join us, or if they can’t suggest they have a go at writing anyway. I know that the majority of those people will reply ‘but I can’t’ I’m just not good enough!‘ I will try to persuade them to either join the group, or have a go at writing anyway, just sit down with a piece of paper and a pen, or in front of a computer, and just start writing. ‘Oh, but I couldn’t, i wouldn’t know where to start!‘
I guess because I have always written, and before I could write I would make up little stories (goodness knows what they were about!) so I do understand that what seems so natural for me is very difficult for others… but the thing with writing is we all have narratives inside us; every time we meet a friend we talk about ‘our news’ and ‘our news’ is a little story. It might be something we’ve just seen, it might be the latest information on a family situation, it might be a reminiscence of a shared experience, it might be the retelling of a book or film or TV programme we’ve just enjoyed.
There is a fear of a naked page, and many people who say they are writers have that fear, and in actual fact, some mornings when I come to write here the screen in front of me seems to get bigger and bigger and more and more empty, as my imagination seems to become smaller and smaller and more and more invisible.
I hope I meet lots of new members for our groups, but I am sure I will meet lots of nice people. I just hope something I say encourages someone to start writing, even if they don’t join us at our classes!
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