Mouthy Workshop (21st March 2013)

24 Mar

What do you like about your writing?

It’s very easy to be self-critical and reel of lists of things that you don’t like about your writing, or things that you feel need to be improved. This is not altogether a bad thing as this self-awareness is crucial for the editing process. However, occasionally, I feel, we need to give ourselves a little pat on the back and ask ourselves – what do I do well? This is more than self-congratulation and encouragement (although these are also very important). It’s also a very positive way of honing your skills and becoming even more awesome at the awesome things you do.

So I encourage you to think about three things that you really like about your writing and apply this to the individual pieces of writing that you create.

Three reasons why I like my writing:

1. I write about the kind of thing I like to read.

2. I feel it is always improving and transforming. The relationship between my personal growth and my development as a writer are somewhat symbiotic.

3. I use vibrant images to have a more sensory experience of the world.

Changing your Writing Space

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One of the benefits of being a writer is that it is, in theory, a job that you can do anywhere. Whether you’re someone who likes to sit on a balcony at dusk in Southern France with a crisp notepad or someone who prefers to bury yourself in a stuffy attic walled in by books and buried in crumpled up pieces of paper – both are equally romantic – there are definitely places that make the writing process flow more.

ImageA lot of writers are creatures of habit and can only write at a certain place, at a certain time and with certain materials. But a change of scene can encourage your creativity to find you through a different vein. I find that doing this when I have a bit of writer’s block can help a lot.

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Personally, I like writing in a café sometimes (and not entirely because I love coffee). I like people watching and thinking about what everyone’s stories might be. It helps to make me feel more connected to the world outside my own head.

During our workshop we were encouraged to leave the room in which we normally write and find somewhere to sit and be inspired by our surroundings. The Mouthies spread out around the grounds of Nottingham playhouse and wrote about things they could see, conversations they could hear and scenarios they imagined. Many found themselves attracted to the creative space of Cast bar, although some also braved the cold outside. Some of us benefited from it more than others – it can be very difficult to get yourself in the right frame of mind sometimes – but it was good to absorb the atmosphere whilst in writing mode.

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How about we share pictures of our favourite places to write and why we like it? E-mail or Facebook or tweet yours if you’d like to share. I’ll blog about it!

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Here’s a bit of an embarrassing one of me pretending to be an 18th century writer at Jane Austen’s house.

NB. Quill and ink – very cool but not particularly practical.

Writing Exercise

Do a free-writing exercise which begins with one of the following opening phrases.

Yesterday…

Last summer…

He/she said…

What if…

If only…

 

Natalie Popow

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