Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Evening at the Author's table

Long ago, my mother made up a game. It was designed to help my younger siblings have better table manners and it was called Evening At The Author's Table. We would set the table with all the best china and silverware. We would use our best manners and our most polite words. When dinner was over and cleaned up Mum would pass out paper and pencils, give us a writing prompt and set the timer.

And we would write.

When the time was up we would take turns reading our writing out loud.

Twenty years later.

I have children who love to write, long to write, need to write. This did not come from me. In an attempt to quench the thirst for writing I thought I would play Mum's game (sans dinner) at the middle school with other children too.

And they wrote. And were good!

But the strangest part was I wrote! Not a lot. Not great. Not even very good. But that wasn't the point. The point was to start writing. And that I did. And it was fun. Not only that, but I read my writing out loud! That was harder than the writing. Who would think that I would be terrified to read my story to a bunch of children who I have known since they started kindergarten?

It got even stranger: when the sweat had dried off my brow I felt empowered! That stunned me even more than the fear. I am addicted to empowerment. I have a tendancy to do again what rewarded me once. But I don't want to wait for the next Young Writer's Guild at the Middle School.

Will you play with me?

I will post a prompt and my 10 minutes worth of writing. (That is very brave of me.) Will you set your timer and write for 10 minutes too? Then you can post your writing in the comments section. It can be a story, a paragraph, a sentance, a list, a thought, several thoughts, a poem, a song, a tweet. Whatever comes out of your pen, or pencil, or keyboard, or phone. What you do with it is entirely up to you.