The organisation I work for are running a Summer School for young people this week. The week is jam packed with writing exercises, feedback oportunities, and will close with a showcase from the kids for their parents. I wish I had had something like this when I was younger – I pained my way through drama club clinging to the other shy kids who were also there because it was the closest thing to a writing group!
After the first day I sat with my coffee and reflected on the session. Mainly, I let sink in how quickly a group of 20 strangers gelled in one day. Jordan, fellow assistant writer and comic book writer, turned to me and said “when did we loose this? The ability to just make friends?”
Of course, props must be given where they are due – the humble Ice Breaker Exercise used in the safe hands of Paul McDonald and Liz Berry. The image of walking into The Whiskey Club in JQ and being handed a human bingo card jumped into my mind. A bunch of adults staring blankly at the card, then the host, then the card. “You want me to what?”
At the end of the day we had a reading from those running the week and talked a little about our particular type of writing. Liz Berry read her beautiful poem, When I Was A Boy. Liz closed her talk with inspiring words that I can’t get out of my head – “If you can’t be wild when you write, when can you be?”
After a day of writing exercises and ice breaking games where the young writers turned normal objects into the extraordinary, I realised just how much we say no to ourselves as writers.
So, my inspiration for this week is be a Wild Thing. Do the unexpected, the unconventional in my writing …. because I can. Make friends out of strangers (although I will leave the Bingo at home) and let the magic back into my life – in RL and in words.