In my new effort to improve my non-fiction writing chops, I am considering participating in an writer’s group at Gotham Writer’s Workshop (NYC of course). Have any of you experience with this organization?
Their credentials seem in order. I would prefer a writer’s group in person, but none are available nearby.
A.D.D., I seem to be in need of structure and accountability. Perhaps a writer’s group would be the encouragement I need.
Kindred Spirit in Key West offered a writing course that I took a few years ago. In one class exercise, Instructor Shelley had us write on writing.
“Writing for me is basically an involuntary reaction like throwing up, belching, or sneezing when I get black pepper up my nose. I haven’t much choice. I write so I can go on.”
“I remember after Hurricane Georges numbly shuffling through the days of clean-up: the heat, the muck, the worry. I even saw a man die. Run over on his bicycle by one of those monster debris removal trucks. There the stranger lay on the pavement: helmet removed, a single trickle of blood making a puddle near his dark, curly hair. The huge truck’s driver sitting on the curb with his head resting in open hands.”
“Somewhere into the second week after the hurricane, the storm raged on in my mind. I felt so heavy with the collective trauma. I needed to catalog all the impressions and feelings. To put them somewhere safe for keeping. I unloaded my weight onto the page. There. I could move on!”
My journals are filled with the births, deaths, and all varieties of change and drama. “I write when I feel. When I feel so strongly that I can not help myself, I write. I need the release. Writing makes me feel light and unburdened. It allows me to go on.”
Shelley gave me permission to write not only when necessary, but just because I could. “I write in my notebook filled with loose leaf paper. I also write on the white paper napkins while I drink White Russian milkshakes at Louis Backyard Bar. I also write on the back of K-mart receipts or a small notepad with “First State Bank… your hometown bank” printed in neat aqua letters across the top of each sheet.”
“But I am not a writer. Writer’s get paid and are interviewed by Matt or Al on morning TV. Writers get published. Writer’s get read.”
Thanks to blogging, I now have a forum for writing not just because I have to, but because Shelley said I can.
Warm wishes until next time. anitamorrell.wordpress.com