Come Write the Watery World With Me
May Writing Challenge: The Religion of Water, now open for bookings
This week has been a good work week. I’m back into my writing routine. In fact I have upgraded my routine to include a pre work early morning walk. I think the bit of sunshine we’ve had of late has done me good. Like a flower I’m turning my face to Spring. I’m up at six for a brisk walk, then into the office for an hour of writing, then breakfast, a slow dog walk with the elderly dog, then back to the desk until lunch. After lunch - another couple of hours at my desk, then I finish early to read. At five I end my day with another slow walk with the elderly dog. I’ve decided to incorporate reading into my work day, rather than trying to fit it in around other jobs. It’s too important to be crammed in. It feels like luxury, like a hobby, like something I certainly should NOT be doing in work hours, but the reality is that I need to keep up with poetry collections in order to run decent poetry workshops, writing challenges and courses (see below for the lates writing challenge). I need to find books for the book club too, and I think of reading as a kind of ‘CPD’ - Continued Professional Development - something that I remember from my days as a microbiologist - the importance of keeping up to date with new research, new developments in the field. To transfer that to a writer/facilitator perspective, that means keeping up to date with new ideas, new themes, new writers, new thought paths into old subjects, and treading the thought holloways that I’ve not journeyed down before. More than that, reading is thought provoking for me, it literally stimulates me brain to think in new ways, and when I see decent writing, I want to write better myself. It’s good for me as a writer, to take time to read. Why, then, do I feel like I am justifying my afternoon reading time? Perhaps it’s a working class background thing, if I’m on the clock then I should be working-working, not reading books.
Most of my writing this week has been water based - fenlands, bogs, eels and fish, fen wildlife, watery gods, the act of deposition, the things we place in the water to protect ourselves. This is all for the BIG PROJECT I’m currently working on, but it gave me an idea for a writing challenge.
The Religion of Water
Four week email based writing challenge with tiered pricing.
Starts Monday 1st May 2023
How do we worship water? In this four week writing challenge you will be encouraged to immerse your creative self in a watery world where you will be provided with poems, museum artefacts, videos and music as part of a set of creative prompts to develop your own writing. We’ll be looking at the physical act of immersion; the cleansing rituals of bathing, swimming. We’ll be looking at water as deity, as a place for offerings, how we send our wishes into the watery depths. The focus of this four week challenge is how we interact with water on an emotional, spiritual and sensory level, from simple splashes at the seaside, to more deeply felt water rituals. Each week will cover a loose theme for you to work through, with brief notes and guidance on how to tackle your own poetry, all delivered directly to your inbox.
I have a tiered pricing system for this writing challenge, you can choose the level of interaction: Email only, email, facebook and zoom and a feedback option. I have one bursary place for each level, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to apply for a bursary. The bursaries are for writers facing financial difficulties.
The Dawn Chorus
I’m also running another dawn Chorus morning writing group in April.
The Dawn Chorus is an early morning writing session with a nature theme which takes place once a month over five days. Sessions are run over zoom and all you need to take part is a zoom account and a desire to set some time aside to write. Sessions are just one hour long and are designed to keep your writing motivation ticking over. The Dawn Chorus is run by Spelt Magazine and facilitated by Spelt editor Wendy Pratt. Each session begins with an inspirational poem or extract of creative non-fiction and an optional prompt for you to use, but please feel free to work on your own long term project.
You will not be asked to share anything you are working on, but there will be five minutes at the end of the session set aside to check in and share if you want to. The aim of the group is community and pressure free writing in a friendly and supportive space.
You do not have to have your video or audio switched on, and you will not be asked to introduce yourself or perform any ice breaker or group discussions, this is purely a place to write in a community of other writers.
Dates for the next Dawn Chorus are 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th April 2023, but you don’t have to come to them all.
Books from the Margin
And don’t forget April’s Books from the Margin is Liz Berry’s The Home Child. You can get a 15% discount on the book from the fabulous Poetry Pharmacy if you book onto one of the ‘pay what you can’ events - the book chat on April 16th or author event on April 28th.
Until next time