10.45 am

Where are all you Sutton Writers on Saturday mornings? Three or four of us are indulging in a real treat – an hour and a half in which you don’t have to do anything apart from write – no washing up, no clearing away the breakfast things, doing the weekend shop, washing the car or mowing the lawn. Not even any baking, though that’s a shame. The brilliant thing is that it’s a great way to make new contacts in the world of writing – one of them has already given me some useful input for my latest book. All you have to do is respond to the Meetup invitation and then click on the link that appears in the event details panel. 

As I write this, if I flip back onto Zoom I can see eight other scriveners beavering away. I don’t know why but this has a magical effect. No more scratching your head and staring at a blank screen. My fingers just start to fly across the keyboard. This has made me extra productive during lockdown, rather than allowing me to be infected by the general inertia that it is all too easy to succumb to. These sessions are open to writers all over the country, in fact all over the world and when I see our niece on Zoom tonight (but 6.30 am for her in Auckland)  at the family quiz, I’ll ask her if she’d like to join us sometime. I guess it will be 10.30 at night for her until our clocks go back (theirs have already gone forward). The great thing is that location is immaterial – I’ve made a lovely new Twitter friend who is a university librarian in Nigeria but I think I need to message her to join us again as we haven’t seen her for a while – I’ve no idea what the current time is in Nigeria so that may be an obstacle. At the retreat you will also see people working on their novels, memoirs, textbooks and poems in Dublin, Devon and deepest suburbia. 

The amazing thing is that the concept works. I believe that Lauren, Kirsteen and others have already been getting up early several times a week to join London-based online write-together sessions and Lauren has actually completed a first draft of a long-neglected novel. Amazing how a little support from you friends can help. I’ve been able mainly in these sessions to motivate myself to complete a language revision of a social science textbook and boy did I need a kick up the proverbial to get going on the that, to finish my Fizzy Pop Virus diary for the Sutton Archive, and to draft a lot of material for a book on language change. We are due to deliver 75K words to Routledge by the end of October 2021, so these sessions are a godsend.

Do come and join us! You don’t know what you are missing. 

11.15am – just finished. AP.

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