The Writing Group

2014-05-21 18.32.09

When I first moved back to Basingstoke I looked for groups and clubs to join, in order to have a social life.  One of the things I found was a creative writing course at the local college (BCOT).  Thursday evenings, a couple of hours.

And what I found was a flipping treasure trove!  I’ve mentioned it a few times already on my blog.  You can find posts here and here.  In there is at least one embarrassing (and incorrect) comment that I won’t remove now because it’s archived history.  But just stating for the record, because I’m going to send the people involved a link to this blog.

I met in that class a group of lovely people, who shared my passion and frustration with writing.  And we stayed friends through the first term and the second term and the third term.  And then we lobbied for another year.  I attended the first term of the second year, but had trouble with finances for the second term.  It sucked missing it.  I’d feel on Thursday evenings like I was supposed to be somewhere, and I definitely did not get as much writing done.  Without the support of my classmates, and my wonderful teacher I just didn’t feel like.

This term however my guardian angel helped out, so I’m able to attend again.  And the difference is astounding.  Hilary, the teacher, LOVES my work and that makes me feel like I have talent.  Having someone be so impressed with my work buoys me with confidence.  I have trouble when I’m at home trying to continue a piece, but during the classes I glow.  It’s a very good feeling.  I may have to make attending class a bit of a priority on my budget.

I have several pieces I’m (trying) to work on at the moment, but it’s hard not to be perfectionist about it.  I feel like what I’m writing has to be perfect and finished the second it hits the page.  Even though I KNOW it doesn’t.  The important thing is to get the first draft down.  But it’s hard to fight your own nature.

Unfortunately – due to blog-posting-equals-publishing rules in competitions, I can’t really share anything I work on, but I am going to share a poem.  Two poems actually, although technically they’re the same one.  (You’ll understand in a minute).

I missed the first week of this term so I didn’t do the homework for that week.  Instead I sent Hilary a couple of writing-related poems I’d written in the past.  She loves them, which is always nice.  This was one of them:

Writers

The scratching scribble of ideas stampeding onto pages. The frustrated sighs of writers who can’t get their work to be just so. The excited fidgeting of the lucky few who find things flowing perfectly. The occasional checking of instructions, re-reading the boss’s orders. The angry bursts of crossing out, each slash of the pen accompanied by a shake of the head. And every so often a mumble or a mutter, under the breath but loud enough to hear if you listen carefully.

I know these writers well, I look forward to hearing what they write. I’m not even sure of all their names, but I know what to expect. I know who will get laughs, and who will get sighs. I know who will be accused of writing too much. I know who will be told off for berating their own work. I know that these writers of inspired works have lives of their own. I know they have troubles and triumphs and mysteries. But I know them as Writers only.

Once a week, with mints.

A gathering of like-minded geniuses.

When I received it back from Hilary with her notes, she asked if it was about the class.  It isn’t… it’s about a writing group I used to go to in Stoke-on-Trent, but it kind of inspired me.  I wanted to write the same/similar piece about the writing class.  So here it is:

Writers (Version 2)

The scratching scribble of ideas stampeding onto pages. The frustrated sighs of writers who can’t get their work to be just so. The excited fidgeting of the lucky few who find things flowing perfectly. The occasional checking of instructions, re-reading the boss’s orders. The angry bursts of crossing out, each slash of the pen accompanied by a shake of the head. And every so often a mumble or a mutter, under the breath but loud enough to hear if you listen carefully.

I know these writers well, I look forward to hearing what they write. I know who will take us to dark places when they read, and who will lead us to comedy. I know who will read with confidence. I know who will tell us they’ve done rubbish, just before they read a beautiful gem. I know who will struggle, and who will write reams.

And when we aren’t here, this gathering of like-minded geniuses, I still know them. I know who will have their homework in right away. I know who may not give us any homework for months. I know who will check up on me every day. I know who will give me delighted smiles when she sees me in town. I know who will struggle with the darkness like I do.

I know these people. I know how they write. I know how they suffer. I know how they create.

I know them as Writers.

 

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About Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/doodler/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.
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