01 June 2010

Uncreative times

I've just finished reading Joshua Spassky by Gwendoline Riley. I really liked her previous works, Cold Water and Sick Notes, but I'm remaining non-commital about this one. Maybe the mentions of Manchester (including two references to the Temple Of Inconvenience) were too sparse for me. Or perhaps it was the literary name-dropping I wasn't bothered by, or all the verging-on-cliche writers-talking-about-being-writers sections.

Oh well. Here's one passage about writing that I did appreciate: "I like writing," I said. "I like it for about fifteen minutes, on aggregate, every two years."

My sentiments exactly, for the very reason that I'm always scribbling things down, either in the middle of the night in my trusty 60gsm recycled lined paper spiral-bound notebook or here as a draft blog post, then it never goes anywhere and I'm left somewhat deflated in the shadow of failure. In fact, only this Saturday, I was feeling a bit of a spare part at a special Chorlton Arts Festival creative writing workshop called Happy Accidents. It was quite a struggle trying to get anything to come out of my pen, while all the other folk around the table (oh, except one, who headed for the door and never looked back) seemed to go through reams and reams of paper, and not just because their handwriting was big.

Oh well. I ended up with three pieces, which, because it took such an effort and because my brain is mush from doing all the press and PR for the festival in my spare time, I will share with you here as the week progresses. Since it's been a bank holiday, you can have a piece a day for the remainder of the working week. You have been warned, but it would be interesting to hear any comments, as long as they don't put me in a mood.

Before I get the process underway, here's a little information on the organisers of the workshop, poet and Commonword trustee Steve Waling and Comma fiction writer Anthony Sides. As a rule, they hang out at Fuel in Withington Village every second Saturday under the guise of Paper Planes. Get there for coffee at 11.30am or for the four-hour session upstairs at noon. Places cost £12/8 and you can get in touch with them via paperplanes@hotmail.co.uk or through their Facebook page.

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