The Power of a Writing Salon
Today we met at the Camas Library, six writers and myself. This is the third month we’ve met, and we all went away amazed at how productive a bit of writing time can be, even with minimal feedback.
I introduced our prompt and we got right to work, a short session of only 5 minutes, plus a minute to wrap it up. Each writer had the option to read or pass. The first reading is not up for feedback. It acts more as an introduction to each other, without any words spoken except those that were written during that 5-6 minutes. But beyond this, it is an opportunity for the writer to hear her own writing, how the words she’s put together fall upon the ear and heart.
Years ago when I was at UCSD Eudora Welty came into the Honors Writing class I was in and sat chatting with 10 of us for an hour. “My own words, when I’m at work on a story reach me through the reader-voice, the same voice that I hear when I read books. When I write the sound of it comes back to my ears…I have always trusted this voice.”
Writing and then hearing our own voice was powerful. A mix of voices coming through the ages. One writer was choked by her own words, could hardly get them out of her mouth, but she did. Another writer almost spit her words out, overtly expressive, slightly enraged. An element of surprise found itself in each piece, from each author.
There is tremendous power in simply writing. Sitting down and putting pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard. Forcing ourselves to lay words on the page, discover what is inside. To simply write.
Talking about writing is not writing. It doesn’t help much to talk about it, in my experience. It helps most when we write and then maybe talk a little bit about what we actually wrote. We talk some about writing, mostly about trusting our own voices, but mostly we write. And then we write some more.
If you’re in the Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA area, we’ll be there again next month writing. Check us out on Facebook or message me. Meanwhile, back to writing.