10 August 2007

Writers camp

Well, today was supposed to be the beginning of my big three days writing, and what happens? I get the cleaning bug. A procrastination tool? I hear you say. No, not really. I would rather be writing. I very rarely get the cleaning bug -- my mother would attest to this. She is forever telling me that I should be cleaning rather than writing. Can you tell that she just doesn't get this writing thing? Mothers!

Anyway, I've done enough and am just waiting for a writer friend who is coming over to print something; then I'm ready to go. In the meantime, I thought I'd better check my work emails, and there's one from a student who's just had a piece accepted for a mag, for which I have to write an accompanying piece on class dynamics. And of course I remembered I'm supposed to be chasing up a past-student who's interstate. So I rang a friend who I know has his mobile no, only to be told she's away on writers camp.


I used to belong to the writers' group she's in, and remember those camps with great fondness. A weekend away in Torquay, with lots workshops from guest writers (and sometimes group members). My friend is leading one of the workshops this time. This is not a go-for-the-jugular type writing group, but one where everyone reads out their work and gets some encouraging comments. Trouble was that once I started teaching and spent my time reading so much student work, it killed my enjoyment of spending my free time listening to people read work that needed work to make it flow well. Perhaps that's the teacher's plight. I'm the same with my workshopping writers' groups -- I do it all week so doing it on the weekend is just like doing unpaid work.

But the camps were fun. Trouble was that the last few times I went, I was teaching, and taking up marking to do, and found I sat more and more out of the group readings, which made me feel rude. These days, an ideal camp for me is one where we go away and write. It's great to get away from the family and just do it.

Anyway, my friend has been now while I was in the middle of this, so I'm off to the other computer to pump out some words.

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