Monday 23 March 2020

Let's write - virtually! Sue Purkiss

For quite a few years now, I've been running a writing class/group in Cheddar. We meet on Thursday mornings - or we did, until last week, when for obvious reasons, we stopped.

But I know we'll all miss both the writing and the company. So we're going to continue to meet, but virtually. Initially at least we'll do it by email. I'll send out a task, and then the following week we'll meet and 'chat' and share work. I will explore more technologically advanced ways of meeting up, but I'm not sure that everyone will manage Zoom or whatever, so we'll see.

Anyway, I thought it would be an idea to share the writing ideas more widely, so I'm setting up a blog to do that - then anyone will be able to see the tasks and have a go if they want to. This is not about getting published: I firmly believe that writing, like any other creative effort, is good for you. It's become very clear over the years that the group members love to meet and chat and hear each other's work - but they also love the time at home when they settle down and produce stories, memoirs, whatever. It just is good for you to lose yourself in creating something - and the current set of circumstances mean that there are a lot of people with the time now to have a go.

So I hope they will.

These exercises, starting points, whatever, are mainly aimed at adults; I've found that, while people have no wish to write directly about their own lives for all of the time, for some people it's a hugely valuable way of exploring situations with which they may never before have come to terms. Irrespective of that - people's memories and experiences provide fertile ground for ideas. Though don't get the idea that it has to be serious - we laugh a great deal in our sessions, and people have written some really entertaining stuff.

So - the blog's now live, and you can find it here. Please share and tweet and whatever, so that people know it's there - in a very small way, it might just help!

Just because it's nice to have a picture - this is the cover for the group's latest collection of stories. It was to have been sold at Chaff, the local Cheddar arts festival, at the beginning of May, but that's obviously been postponed - the theme was/is to do with the anniversary this year of VE Day.


Penny Dolan said...

Good wishes to your group and their stepping forward online!

I'm sure, judging from your Fool on A Hill blog, that this new blog will be a great success, Sue.

From past tutoring experience, I think that giving any adult writers a task or writing prompt or similar does give that group a subtle "permission" to write and enjoy their writing time, as well as validating their work and words too. Will be watching out for more news.

Congratulations on that fine anthology too.

Sue Purkiss said...

Thank you, Penny - you're very kind!