Only connect

Still researching. Talking, googling, thinking, reading.  Roddy Doyle’s “Fighting Words” centre in Dublin, modelled on Dave Eggars’ 826 Valencia in San Francisco. I send an email, asking if I can come over and see what they’re doing. That part of this placement is a luxury. I would have wanted to do that anyway. Wouldn’t have been automatically funded or encouraged as a random, interested writer. Today’s Guardian mentions the Simon Bolivar orchestra coming to the South Bank. I’d seen a documentary on them and Venezuela’s Sistema which sees a quarter of a million kids in orchestras. There’s a pilot in Scotland. Some criticism apparently that transplanting Latin America’s radical social action won’t work here.

I think about how creative writing isn’t as communal, as immediately exciting as music. But that there is probably an unthought of way to make it so. Maybe. Add in passion somehow. As the Simon Bolivar orchestra apparently does.

After school groups run by volunteers. How could they be impassioned?

I spoke to Rachel Adam the director of the Juice Festival this week. It’s a young people’s festival funded by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative from October 22nd-November 8th. She says it’s one of the few young people’s festivals that will have as much of a focus on the children creating work as experiencing work produced for them. I like the sound of that. Reflect again that the North East is a good place to try creative things. Connected island as we are.

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One thought on “Only connect

  1. Re – creative writing not as communal / immediate as music

    Hello Kate

    Hope you are well, you are certainly having some very promising opportunities and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts and ideas. Your comment about the immediacy of music made me think about the different levels of understanding writing and music appeal to. I think music is a form of purified communication,appealing directly to our senses which is why we want to be part of it and share in it. For me it is not about an eternal quest for meaning but for experience – being completely in a single moment, held only by a note or a rhythm. Music is part of our sensory experience of immediate gratfication and creative writing belongs to the pause and contemplation of delayed gratification. I have just started re-reading some of the poetry I studied at University, really savouring them as no deadline was looming. Finally able to deeply absorb the meaning. Both writing and reading creative writing involves commitment, some silence, a pause to open the mind and set aside the familiar assumptions and patterns of thought. It involves some discipline. I don’t mean this in a scary Jean Brodie style teacher way, but discipline as meditation. Meditating on meaning is an important part of the process of making or understanding creative writing. Perhaps it is unfair to force immediacy within creative writing, to make it exciting simply to compete(except with slam, which is very much a test of wit) but instead to directly teach meditative skills and patience as part of the process.

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