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Setting the Scene: Launch Night – 6 September 2017

After a summer of read-arounds, Ayr Writers’ Club reconvened on 6 September 2017 at the Mercure Hotel to begin the 2017/2018 season. The room was bustling and all the tables were filled as Alison Craig welcomed new and long-standing members alike.

The night was titled ‘Opening Night: Setting the Scene’ and it was obvious why as Alison introduced the room to the Committee (highlighting the vacant Vice President spot and putting in a plea for nominees) and outlined the programme for the year. Each of workshop leaders for the year (those in attendance) brought an enthusiasm to the room as they gave a brief overview of the content of their upcoming workshops.

The scene was set as attendees were encouraged to write, encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and attend workshops and compete in competitions even if they seemed outside the comfort zone. An additional challenge was thrown in with the theme of taking action: at every meeting, write down one thing that attending has inspired you to do.

After the tea break (despite the temperamental tea machine acting up for the first time this year), we all returned to our tables to find quotes from various writers awaiting discussion. Each quote was turned into the starting point from some very interesting discussions about writing habits and procedures. I certainly left with plenty of things to mull over about the nature of writing:

• Is writing a subconscious thing as ideas flow from brain onto paper through a pen?
• Which is better: writing on-screen or on paper?
• A writer should be able to remain objective even in a field they are passionate about to let the readers come to their own conclusions about it.
• A writer needs to be able to see both good and bad in their characters
• Positive feedback from an outside source is required to see the flaws in work
• Interruptions may be a bane to a writer’s focus, but it’s also nice to have people who care enough to do so.
• At what point do you let others see your work?
• Editing is fine-tuning after completing the harder part (writing); there is nothing worse than a blank page.

Here’s hoping everyone went away with the infectious enthusiasm for writing and an inspiration to write over the course of this week!

Now I’m looking forward to 13 September 2017 when Alison will be taking us through a poetry workshop.

Abigail Rutherford

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