I have a writing assignment this week, my first one since college. And I’m not even mad. It happened this morning at Radina’s, two tables pushed together near the bar, a small group of thoughtful sojourners, mucking about in a maze of words. We’re called the inkWell, a writer’s group from our church, theWELL. Those writers, so clever.
We took turns reading and listening to each other’s pieces. When it was my turn, I took a deep breath and bravely read my pieces aloud to the group, one a prose on Hope and the other a blog commentary on my experiences with Mercy. I listened quietly when the other writers read, and I was happy – and a teensy bit intimidated – to discover that I’ve found myself in the company of, well, talent. These people are really going to challenge me. Mostly because they pass out writing assignments every week, and also, because they are simply gifted wordsmiths. They see the world from a different angle, with their red hair or beards, small town or a big, big city childhoods. And they seem to remember how to view the world as a child, colorful and wonderfully candid. According to Anne Lamott, who I consider a writing-honestly guru, the main work of a writer is to peer inquisitively at the world, asking the awkward or silly questions grown-ups don’t want to talk about. I would like to be brave and write honest things. I would like to be a writer. And so, here I am.
This week’s assignment: Write the last sentence of an unwritten novel that is so intriguing that people will want to read it. Good grief! Better get started.