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Talking shop

It is very easy to say, ‘if you want to be a writer, you must write’ but it’s a whole other thing to actually write. The advice available on writing is vast and most approaches will include ‘going for a walk’ at some point. It is still good advice for many reasons, but to be fair a good walk will provide clarity for many issues, for many people, creative or otherwise. The strongest motivator for me, comes from being around other writers, and, or creative people in general. Following a weekend at a Popular Fiction Summer School last weekend, I can add fiction academics to my list too.  

Encouraged by a good friend, it was my first time at such an event and I was quickly engrossed. All the talks, seminars and workshops were well presented by enthusiastic, knowledgeable academics, not fazed by any question asked. Nothing felt out of reach, I was in the enviable position of learning and enjoying myself at the same time. It was great. The creative workshops especially, provided me with the jolt I needed to be inspired again.

For one of the workshops, in groups, we were asked to blind pick from two bags. The first bag contained various professions, the second bag, different hobbies. Combining these two elements  we were asked to create a character, then write a paragraph to introduce them. In my group of three we had the words ‘spy’ and ‘fencing’. Undeterred by fencing someone suggested  fencing stolen goods. What followed was a lively discussion and this joint effort. 

Returning home after a blissful weekend of meaningful conversations, the next 24 hours saw me scribbling down more ideas for the television series I want to write one day. I wasn’t even consciously thinking about it, nevertheless ideas kept popping up anyway. I’ve taken this as proof that for me, being around and conversing with others in a similar field of work, is not only enjoyable but produces results.


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