I went to a Write Now! session this week. Write Now! is a drop-in writing session facilitated by mentors and is offered through the poet-in-community.
We began simply by writing as much as we could without thinking about what we were writing. The exercise was meant to get us in the rhythm of physically writing. I used my laptop to write, which made a lot of noise as I typed and resulted in a large number of spelling mistakes. I think I missed out on the point of the exercise by not physically writing with paper and pen; slamming fingers against plastic doesn’t have the same visceral feel as scribbling across a page. The laptop removed me from the act. If I go again, I will bring a notebook.
Afterwards, we were given a prompt and some time to write about it. We were encouraged to write about whatever we chose and to share if we wanted. After a short writing session, we came back as a group to talk about what we had written or where the prompt led us, and together we decided on a new prompt to continue with. In short, it was a collective, iterative writing process.
One of the tenets of the program is “don’t think,” which was a relief. The purpose of the session was to allow writing to happen. By allowing myself to write without being overtly critical, I was able to produce a comparatively large document in a short amount of time.
Admittedly, it is terrible writing. Thoughts are jumbled together in fragmented sentences. I have so many spelling mistakes it looks like I ran each word through a permutation algorithm. It doesn’t seem like anything I wrote during that session will ever be of use to me. However, that was never the point of Write Now
The point of Write Now is to allow yourself to explore, through writing, what you may be thinking or feeling. The prompt is mere prestidigitation; no one will hold you to a certain topic. Write Now is all about the experience of writing and exploring your own thoughts. Ultimately, the final product is irrelevant.
Write Now meets Tuesdays from 4:30-6 at the Multi-Faith Centre, Thursdays from 11:30-1 at Hart House, and Fridays from 1:30-3 at the Koffler Centre.