Earlier this week I worked at the final 2015 Next Big Thing event for The Wheeler Centre. This was a night for 5 of the Hot Desk Fellows to read an extract from the work they’ve been developing during their 2 month residency. It was also, as they said, a time to catch up with each other. Although their desks were side by side, each writer has used their time to focus on their own project. Sure there were the hellos and how are yous, typical of any office or work environment, but that was usually about it. This was time to work.
Hearing this really reminded me of the Sundays that I’ve spent feeding and watching WriteSpace Retreat writers. I’ve tweeted and posted about how productive, and quiet, they are, and I think it’s something we should keep celebrating.
While I love using this quote as a fallback sometimes –
“What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” Burton Rascoe
– the five (all female incidentally) writers that we heard from sat at desks that face a blank wall.
Listening to the scripts and stories from these women I thought about the retreats I’ve hosted this year and came to the conclusion that just being around, but not distracted by, other writers, even in a plain, functional space, can be just what you need to do hard work that yields tangible results.
I’m looking forward to meeting more writers and watching you work in 2016.
And if you want to read about how the evening inspired me to get back to my keyboard, I wrote about it here.