Day 10 Of What Is Now The 20 Blogs of Christmas and May Well End Up Being Less…
Everyone’s got a book in them, right?
I have. It’s even got a title. It ain’t got much else though.
Because I’m Queen of Procrastination.
I am so incredibly highly skilled at putting things off, I wish I could make a living from it.
My Mum has a saying ‘JFDI, darling, JFDI’ – ‘Just Fucking Do It’- but as I mention in another blog here, I Just Fucking Do all the wrong things.
Like wine and food.
I’m great at staring.
So good am I at this I’m thinking of trying to justify it as A Thing - like Mindfulness.
I could write a self-help book ‘The Art of Staring’.
Oooh I just came right back to the intro of this piece without even trying! I bet that has a name in writing – I don’t know it because I’m self-taught at pretty much everything I do.
Although I was taught to touch type at school. On an actual typewriter. We had a typing pool at our all-girls school - they were training us to be secretaries which I absolutely knew I wasn’t going to do because I was going to be a famous actress, so why on earth would I need to bloody type?
In these classes I would write letters to my friend Monica. Ridiculous streams of conscious filled with doodles and utter nonsense. We’d hook up at break time for a fag in the graveyard and I’d give her the letter.
Later she would live in London and I would again write great reams of stuff but never get around to posting it so when she came home for a visit, I’d give her a pile of dog-eared, coffee-stained, smudgy papers that I’d been carrying around with me for months.
Anyway, quite by chance – because I never have a plan – this piece of writing about writing has come full circle (is that the writery phrase?) because my best friend Monica is now a published writer and is hosting a Retreat right here in Leeds – Armley Mills Museum to be precise - a beautiful place steeped in Leeds heritage; the kind of place Mon and I would have hated at school and now adore.
The aim is to give people the time, space and structure to get creative; no kids, no chores, no distractions – not even the internet (I might cry).
Writers work in timed bursts throughout the day thus giving plenty of breaks which might feel wrong but is so right.
That’ll stop ya staring.
The Writers Retreat will run on the last Saturday of each month from January.
It’s £35 for the day and that includes limitless caffeine, biccies and lunch! If you have more budget you could treat your writer pal to three for just £90.
Now I’m no mathematician but I’m here to tell you that’s a saving of £15.
The retreats were originally set up by Writers HQ who’ve been running them for six years, but this is the first time they’ve ventured North.
They also offer online courses and all sorts of other shiz; you can become a member for £30 a month and get courses for nowt as well as discounts on the retreats and merch (more nice gifts for the literary sort).
They’re definitely worth checking out, I love their writing style and have been entertained this afternoon whilst finding out more. Their logo says ‘stop fucking about and start writing’ – a version of Mum’s JFDI right there.
And from one philosopher to another.
Winnie the Pooh famously said ‘you can’t save time, you can only spend it’. Yup. It’s how you spend it that counts. And at the Writers Retreat you just might spend it becoming the next AA Milne…
Find out more about Writers HQ, contact them with queries, view their merch, have a laugh, feel less like a failure, and book your retreat here: www.writershq.co.uk