Shut Up and Write Pitt Meadows 2

Welcome back to SUaW Pitt Meadows Edition!

Thank you for joining us on our mission to increase writing productivity and push through any writing blocks. Shut Up and Write is a free proprietary method and system developed by writers for writers. Below is an inspirational piece from Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola's Tell It Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfictionand a Writing Prompt if you want a boost of inspiration. 

Enjoy, and see you there! 

Sapha Burnell


Writing Prompt

"Blind eyes behind tight blue cloth.

Evergreens on the breeze.

A purple sky."

Why Shut Up And Write?

Writing is a solitary affair, in which we create worlds and images out of the fabric of our individual minds. Yet, the human being is a social beast, given to eccentricities and even illness in isolation. 

Shut Up And Write is an attempt at communal focus, building a community of like-minds, who write their own individual projects in the same space of accountability. 

This space does not have to inhabit the physical plane, but can be a mental space, a slice of time we sit down to write. The point is to keep accountable to each other, to have a place to jam. Hopefully, by joining with this free society of writers, unencumbered by critique, we will write more, find our rhythm and flow into new works with ease. 

I hope to see you here, and if you can't make it, I hope to see you're writing! Send me a Tweet, Hit me up on Facebook, let us know what's happening with you. 

Writing Inspiration

This second writing inspiration minute comes from Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola Tell It Slant (McGraw-Hill, 2005). If you have a writing inspiration you'd like to share with the group, please contact me and I'll put it in the rotation. We have such a wealth of experience and wonder in the BC & Yukon Region of The Writers' Union of Canada, I'd love to hear what you all have to say. 

"Tell all the truth, but tell it slant."

Emily Dickinson

A Few Caveats About Writing From Life

"Creative nonfiction is a tricky business. On the one hand, you have the challenge - and the thrill- of turning real life into art. But on the other hand, you have to deal with all the issues that come attached with that "real life". When a fiction writer wants her character to remember the first time she ate ice cream, she can enter the problem imaginatively: place the character at Coney Island with a melting chocolate cone or at a birthday party with a neat scoop on a slice of cake. Can you do the same thing when you're writing from your own memory, even when you don't exactly remember the scene? A fiction writer is able to create the set amount of characters necessary for the story's action; can you do the same thing with the characters you encounter in your own life and research? When a fiction writer needs dialogue, she writes dialogue. As a non-fiction writer, can you make up dialogue you don't remember verbatim? When you're writing essays based on research, how much of your imagination can you use? Does "nonfiction" mean "no fiction"?

The self inhabits the prose of creative nonfiction, whether or not you write directly about your own experiences. It is the "I" that picks and chooses among the facts. This "I" re-creates those essential scenes and makes crucial decisions about what to include and what to exclude. The "I" decides on the opening line that will set up the voice of the piece, the essential themes and metaphors. The "I" gives the essay its' personality, both literally and figuratively. The essential question, then, is how do you create a piece inhabited by the self without becoming self-centred? And how do you negotiate all the ethical and technical obstacles that come with writing from real life?"

(Tell It Slant, page 75)

Let's take these weekly sessions to remember the joy of writing. The passion and fortitude of our brethren, who put ink to page and black scratches on blank document screens. We can and will succeed. We can and will create beautiful, poetic, refined works of literature. 

One week at a time, we can Shut Up and Write. 

Sapha Burnell