This Monday I went to my first Write Invite in over two years. The evening is a short story competition where you can either enter and read a story of up to six minutes, or come along to watch and support. Back in 2010 I went along to a few and came third twice. I’ve been meaning to go back ever since, and this week I finally made it.
What with rehearsals keeping me busy, and now studying for my NCTJ diploma, I’ve had little time for anything else, so my creative writing has been rather neglected. The silly thing is, it’s actually what I enjoy doing the most. There’s nothing better than taking a few hours to shut the door on the outside world, sit down surrounded by pens, paper, laptop and mood charts, and lose myself in my imagination. The only thing that comes close is performing, and that’s again because at that magical moment when I’m really inhabiting a character and their world, my imagination is set free.
When I used to write before, on a creative level that is, it was always a very solitary activity, just me and the words. The holing yourself up is of course a necessary part of the process, but so is the sharing, the comments, the feedback. As a naturally solitary activity, it is more important than ever to have that contact with other writers. So much inspiration and useful ideas can be gleaned from other people in this creative environment, and their thoughts on your work can prove invaluable. After all, you want people to actually read your writing in the end.
The Write Invite group is the perfect place to explore new ideas in your writing amidst a lovely crowd of like-minded people. As I sat there listening to the other stories being read and watched the faces of those around me when it was my turn to step up to the mic, I noticed everyone was either smiling encouragingly or listening intently to the speaker. At the end of my story, as with every story read that evening, everyone clapped heartily – these were, for the most part, complete strangers, but here everyone was made to feel welcome.
At the end of the evening, my friend Courtney and I left with grins on our faces and a renewed enthusiasm for our writing. So enthused we were, that we signed up for the next event, this time with both of us entering a story. We also met a lovely lady who runs a writers’ group in our neighbourhood so I’ll be reporting back after my first session next Monday!
For more information about the Write Invite, go to www.write-invite.com. They also run weekly competitions on a Saturday evening, called Write On Site, which is my next challenge.