This morning I went to my first writing group meeting through the Public Library.
It was great. Every person read something different; one, a review of a collection of classical music; one, an article on the future shift to battery-operated cars; one, a section of a sci-fi novel for pre-teens, and myself a poem I had written during the session.
I have a favorite person in the group already. His name is George. He’s older; I think he said he was 80. As people over a 65 tend to do, he would share thoughts out loud, addressing no one in particular. It was as if he didn’t care if any one responded though he would have appreciated another person’s ability to connect with his anecdotes and insights.
He said about rock concerts that when music and socializing descends to that level, he leaves the room. Ha! He also mentioned that he missed certain sayings of old like ‘deaf as a post’. I never heard that one very much if at all but apparently it’s a cliche. I have heard that as a writer, if you’ve heard anything even just once, it’s cliche. Don’t use it. I’ve failed on this point a few times but it always comes to mind when I’m writing a poem or article and am looking for the perfect description.
George said another thing that made me laugh. He said: ” Sometimes you look back on what you’ve written in outrage and disgust. But oh well, it’s something to do. At least it’s legal.”
And there it is fellow writers, consolation for writing crap.
Do it. Write your cliches. Write self-indulgent, repetitive, artificially deep junk if that’s what comes out as you start to write. Do it because, as I read in an exceptional writing guide called “Writing Down the Bones”, writing well requires practice and this writing of crap is part of it. It’s a process. Do it because at the very least, it’s something to do, and it’s legal.
So if your stories or poems are weak or even wack, don’t’ sweat- No one’s gonna get arrested.