Last Night’s Meeting

It would seem that I forgot to post a reminder about last night’s meeting on this blog. My apologies.

We had a very nice first meeting of the year! Here’s is a brief overview of what happened:

  • We spent nearly 20 minutes writing. In the first seven minutes, we we each worked on a scene of some nature. Then the timer buzzed. During the next 10 minutes, we wrote a second scene with the same characters. There was supposed to be a large gap of some nature between the scenes. The author didn’t even necessarily need to know what happened in the unwritten part.
  • We then spent several minutes discussing gaps, elisions, and lacunae in writing and how they work or don’t.
  • Then we did something a little different. One of our regular memebers had emailed Shawn a short text earlier in the week. Usually, if a member would like the group to comment on a text, we prefer to receive that text well in advance, so as to be able to spend time with it and formulate our commentary on it. This time, however, because the text was short, the members of the group felt as though they could digest and comment on the text off the cuff. Most everyone, especially the author, felt that this off-the-cuff commentary worked really well. I imagine we’ll try it again.

Our next meeting will take place on 12 February at 19:00 in the Carl-Schurz-Haus Library!

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Reminders are better late than not late

Don’t forget our annual Winter Reading tomorrow (04 December 2018 @19:00) evening in the Carl-Schurz-Haus Library!

We’ll provide the drinks (Glühwein and non-alcoholic cider); please feel free to bring some sort of holiday snack to share and something to read.

We anticipate yet another gemütlichen Abend as in years past.

See you there!

Library Day (Wed. 24 Oct. 2018)!

Friends!

We need your help!

For the last three years, the Freiburg Writers’ Group has set up a small stand during Library Day at the Carl-Schurz-Haus library to advertise the group and give visitors a small and fun taste of the kinds of things we do (last year, we made blackout poetry!). There was a suggestion that we write short stories on postcards this year! Yes!

The stand is usually (wo)manned from 16:30 until 18:30.

We need volunteers to come sit and write stories with visitors!

Send me an email! Let me know I can count on you!

I think I am abusing the exclamation point!

Thank you!

Shawn!!!!!

Meeting: 09 Oct 2018 @19:00

Last time, we did a couple of different things. One of those things was that we discussed the following quotation from an interview with author Carolyn Zaikowski:

11 – What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

I often doubt it when people claim they have one of those writer’s life routines you see in a Buzzfeed list. The expectation messes with people’s heads and discourages socially underprivileged people. The privilege needed to write every day is an elephant in the room. Writing routines, at least as they’re usually discussed, arguably have a connection to the psychology of capitalism. Writing is your job and your hyper-individualist identity; you only earn your title if you’re a Type A worker bee. If you’re not somehow strong-arming yourself into making a product, fire yourself. And, wouldn’t you know it, this is usually only something you can achieve if you have no kids, no sicknesses, no need for a full-time job or the decompression that requires, no social structures of gender or race stacked against your finances, psyche, or safety. I see so many of my students and friends get lost in some version of all this.

I go for months without writing. I’m 35 and have been writing since I was 5 and have become comfortable with the idea that writing is a part of how my life operates and that I’ll always come back to it. In those months, seeds are planted and growing. Space is being taken to let the overcrowded brain-rooms breathe. When I force ideas, they come out lopsided. I think of this metaphor used by Buddhist teachers of a plant that’s being neurotically watched and overwatered and dug up and replanted to see if the roots are okay. I’m convinced there’s a subconscious aspect to most good writing that requires patience and self-compassion, and that ignoring this leads to writer’s block, self-hate, and writing that doesn’t fulfill its potential.

The rest of the interview can be found here. I read Zaikowski’s book In a Dream, I Dance by Myself, and I Collapse last week and found it to be emotionally shattering in the best possible way.

ANYWAY

Our next meeting will be held next week, on Tuesday, 09 October at 19:00 in the Carl-Schurz-Haus library. I absolutely hope to see you there!