From now until the end of the year, I am supposed to spend 10 minutes free writing every day, so in true-aspiring-writer-fashion, I have been avoiding my notebook and pen this week. I attended a writing workshop last Sunday, it was part of the Writivism Festival. At 10.00am, I arrived on time for the workshop in my fave grey marble print dress and new L.A Girl matte pigment lip gloss 'Black Current' with daunting and catastrophic imagined expectations in mind. The night before I had dreamt about all the worst possible scenarios, so I was hoping both the dress & lip gloss would help my confidence, because the one fear most writers have is reading their work in front of other people (people who are very talented). I was frightened that I might have to read my rejected story out loud, since they had asked me to bring a print out. So the dress and lip gloss were meant to be my Armour, but thank God I never had to read my story.
Any who....I discovered that I actually have a lot going on in my mind and this free writing exercise during the workshop allowed me to sit and spew out all the unnecessary clutter, no longer restricted by grammar. Free writing is when you write down whatever is on your mind without editing yourself. You just write and write and write, within your specified time limit. Sitting in a room surrounded by fellow writers of different nationalities and cultures, I wrote possibly 150 to 200 words uncensored, real (and maybe a bit raw)in just 10 minutes. We were tasked to write about our names by the facilitator from Short Story Day Africa, Efemia Chela. And when she shouted "Time's up! Pens down." you can just imagine the struggle that took place between us the writers, our hands and the pens. We had all enjoyed our freedom without our internal editors breathing down our backs and were reluctant to give it away once again.
The Writivism festival took place at The Square this year, which is most definitely an interesting building. I can describe it in four words greyish, blackish bare and huge. You can't deny the fact that the place was constructed for creatives. It's a structure located in the industrial area of Kampala that one can mold into what they need for the time they are there. The festival was dynamic as always. Each time I attend I leave with my renewed enthusiasm for African writers. I attended the #MEIREAD session hosted by the Ugandan publishing house Sooo Many Stories and listened to a lively discussion on the book Black Ass with author A. Igoni Barret, now I MUST get that book! I am so happy that the festival gives us access to books that we might not find in our usual book shops; not only access to the books but a chance to meet the authors and understand their creative process. It makes my reading experience so personal, a purchase for me becomes an investment in the future of African literature. Our grandchildren will be overwhelmed by the choices, I am elated about that. I bought some books I am looking forward to devouring 😂 Shout out to Turn the Page and the Writivism Crew for ensuring they were available. I would have bought more but many of the books that were launched were sold out by the time I got there...
|Yes, this photo was taken at night so I used a flash..|
Can we also talk about the Salooni exhibition by
|from the Writivism website|
One thing I was looking forward too was the creative rush, imagine a sugar rush but substitute sugar for creative energy . The energy that makes us paint, animate, design, photograph, even write... is it the same as the muse? Although it doesn't feel like the muse. It feels more like jump starting your internal creative vehicle, because each person will still has to go away and do the work. The jump start just gives us the visionary spark of electric energy. There is something about being around like-minded people that makes your mind dig deeper for the story, and hopefully helps you produce your next best work if you remain committed and intensely focused. So I highly recommend festivals, workshops or writing retreats cause we all need that creative push every now and then, before we lock ourselves away in solitary confinement to passionately labour away on the next great hit.
This post was initially a free writing exercise but
I have edited out around 100 words so I could post it. 😤
In the comments below, tell me, have you tried free Writing? How do you get your creative jumpstart? Have you bought any good books lately?