Who needs a writing workout?


Can it be three months already since the Writers’ Festival in June? I’ve moved house in the interim, waved my third child off to university and welcomed my first child home again while he hunts down a job. A degraded BT cable has left me without a landline in a village with no 3G, and the lack of connectivity has been ‘interesting’, to put it politely. Yet it has brought an unexpected benefit. Without access to email or Google or Twitter I’ve had more space to write.

Back in July, my aim was to write 50,000 words – the second half of a first draft of a novel. Wishful thinking, clearly, but I’ve managed a few chapters, and it would have been considerably less if I’d plugged in and logged on. My ‘golden time’ for writing comes between 7 and 9am every morning, while my mind is still fresh and I’ve not yet succumbed to the distractions of the day. Of course, by the time the teenagers have roused themselves I am haring around Hampshire in pursuit of a signal, but, for my ‘golden time’ at least, I’ve laid some words across a page.

Nevertheless, every writer has to push through the times when BT doesn’t – so very helpfully – remove the obstacles to creativity: when life gets in the way, or when we just don’t feel like writing and no idea seems fresh.

With this in mind, here at the Winchester Writers’ Festival we’ve devised a day in darkest November for writers to exercise their writing muscles. Do join us for our ‘Writing Workout’ on Saturday 14th November, 10am-4.30pm at the University of Winchester. The concept is simple: six sessions run by experienced tutors, each lasting 45 minutes, with plenty of coffee and tea in between.

Each session will centre on a guided writing exercise, using creative prompts and pathways to blow away the cobwebs, stimulate new ideas and lay those words across the page. You’ll be writing, no question, and it will be intense, but there will be a few minutes to share ideas at the end of each session.

For more information, and how to book, see our ‘news and events’ page or contact Sara Gangai on 01962 826367 or email sara.gangai@winchester.ac.uk. The cost is £50. Bring your own lunch or eat in one of the campus cafes and don’t forget something to write with.

Oh, and we’ve even got WiFi. But don’t let that distract you…

Judith H