Sunday, 31 March 2013

Get Involved

We seem to be well-blessed with writers' clubs in the Nottingham area. Of course, we have a rich literary heritage around here with the likes of D.H. Lawrence and Alan Sillitoe. Whether that has anything to do with it I don't know.

I'm a member of two clubs.

Trowell Writers is a twenty minute walk from my house and takes place in the organiser's living room. Every other Monday we start by reading our latest piece of poetry or prose and then take part in a couple of exercises.

Nottingham Writers' Club meets on the first and third Wednesday of every month at the old Nottingham Mechanics Institute which is now a social club. On the first Wednesday we have a guest speaker, usually an author, journalist or publisher. Our second meeting of the month is where we can bring along our work to read out and get feedback from the other members.

The two clubs have widely differing resources and are run along completely different lines so I get a wide range of benefits from them both. I would strongly encourage anyone who writes to join a club. Writing need not be a lonely occupation. If you can't get to meetings many of them (including the two mentioned above) run associate membership where you get a newsletter and are allowed to enter the in-house competitions. If there are no clubs nearby why not start one? You don't have to be affiliated to any organisation and you can run them to your own agenda. Just get together with some like-minded friends and swap ideas. You won't regret it.

Monday, 4 March 2013

A Gold Medal In Creativity

In my last post I mentioned the so-called Olympic legacy. This is the government's idea that, because those Lycra-clad show-offs of Team GB won a few bits of scrap metal and half a yard of coloured ribbon, we should all be joining gymnastic clubs, swimming fifty lengths before breakfast, cycling thirty miles every Sunday and entering marathons. Well – something like that.

My six-year old grandson had a different angle on the whole event. He was very taken by the medal ceremonies and likes nothing better than to re-create them. My wife bought him a small pool table last year, so every time he visits we all have to take part in a pool tournament. He likes playing the game but his real enjoyment comes at the end. I've let him have my triathlon medals to play with. (After all, they're only bits of old iron and strips of ribbon). He uses a brass one for gold, a greyish looking one for silver and the rest all pass for bronze. The winner, which is always him of course, gets the gold hung around his neck and the rest of us take what's left. He stands on a stool while we all stand either side and sing the National Anthem. I don't suppose it's quite what Lord Coe had in mind but at least it's fired the young chap's imagination.

I have several techniques to stimulate my creative thinking. Spending time with my grandson is one of them. I think it's probably the best. After all – he inspired this post.