|Playpen member Casey's terrific novel!|
In the summer at the beach, I often hit a pretty substantial writer’s block. Which makes no sense to me: here I am in a beautiful setting, with spare time I never have in Oreland, and I sit on the porch facing the dreaded blank page. This year, I decided to meet the problem head-on. I attended a “free write” hosted by the Rehoboth Beach Writer’s Guild. I had no idea what to expect, but hoped it would jump-start some creativity.
The event, attended by six people with their laptops, was a series of writing prompts given by the group’s leader. These prompts ranged from lines taken from poems, to New Yorker cartoons, to random words on slips of paper. Everyone had five minutes to write about each topic, then to read their work aloud. Wow, was that eye-opening! I discovered that, while I think of myself as a “fast” writer, I’m nowhere near speedy enough to come up with compelling material on the spot. My fellow attendees, all veterans of the free write, churned out paragraph after paragraph of really good stuff, some touching, some funny. I, on the other hand, wrote mostly drivel, and was embarrassed to share it at all (you could pass, and for one prompt I did—at that point I was tempted to pack up and go home, where at least I could be alone with my blank page.)
|One of the writing prompts. My output was less than stellar.|
So OK. I’ll try the free write again. I can only get better, right?