I attended Shap writing group again yesterday, this time on Zoom. My second time joining in and it was a lot of fun. There are some proper characters in the group. I mean that with affection. 😊
Like the first time I met them and one of them said he lives near the house which used to have an old ice cream van parked at the front. And everyone, including me, nodded with understanding. Then yesterday a woman I’d not met before worked out who I was and went on to name three of my relatives within the first couple of minutes of meeting me. 😅
But, it’s not just the people — the creative prompts are great and the writing produced as a result is really special. So much of it links to landscape. You can’t live round that area (edge of the Lake District) without it rubbing off on you. And Shap, with its infamous fell and tricky winters, inspires some cool (–pardon the pun) pieces of writing.
It may seem odd that I’m attending a creative writing group in an area that’s a 40 mile drive from where I live now. I only intended to go for a recce. But they’re such a warm, welcoming bunch of people that I’m tempted to go as often as I can. I’m up that way a lot anyway seeing family and friends, so I can go up and do both. Suited me yesterday morning though that the session was on Zoom.
It’s a session run by the Wordsworth Trust and one of the things they’ve been doing is using a set of writing prompts that the trust has put together in a humble but attractive box. The box features cards with – on one side – watercolour paintings of the Lake District inspired by excerpts of William or Dorothy Wordsworth’s writing, and, on the other side, the excerpts themselves with a thematically linked creative writing prompt.
Weirdly, the two pieces of writing I’ve done as a result of the prompts have both been fairly urban. As I say, I’ve lived away for a lot of years and always in towns and cities. But the themes still make their way into my writing in one way or another, like the theme of flow and movement inspired by looking at ideas to do with rivers, but that manifest themselves in my writing through the flow of people or traffic.
I’m enjoying attending creative writing groups. I work with other people’s writing as my day job but it’s nice to flex my own imagination.
It’s easy, too, when I get such nice reactions like Peter and Susan saying to me yesterday how much they’d enjoyed my poem. (Actual people: I’ve not been to a creative writing group of my own imagination with the children from Narnia. 😆)
I don’t feel confident enough yet to share my own work on social media. And that’s ‘just’ poetry! Mega respect to all of the authors I work with as a proofreader and editor. It must take a huge amount of courage to put your work out there in the world for all to see. 😬 👊
One of my January goals is to attend a creative writing group nearer me. There’s no reason I can’t go to more than one. Morecambe creative types: I’m looking forward to listening to you read your work. I wonder how/if the landscape round here will resonate in your writing. I’ll have a go at some of my own and will see how I get on.