Yesterday & Today: 10th February

It was great to see some new faces at yesterday evening’s ‘Write-on Ripon’ Open Mic. We had seventeen people in attendance, and were once again treated to a wide variety of poetry and prose, styles and abilities. I read three poems “First-term Crush”, “The Hit-count” (both as yet unpublished) and “Railway Vignettes” from my (2022 collection Selected Poems).

It was also good to be back in the cellar at the Curzon Cinema as this may be the venue for my June Theatre Festival Performance. It’s a great atmospheric space, but -as was proved again last night – a microphone is essential.

Today I’ll be picking up the reviewing threads again. Made great strides yesterday in terms of Not the Sonnets, so much so that I might be able to sign off this final review before the weekend. Which would be great. Other than that, I’ll be tinkering with some other things I’m sure – though you never know what might suddenly grab your attention…

One thing I’m already looking forward to is the initial meeting about performing Crash next Wednesday when Andy and I get together to map out the route between here and the 10th June.

Today’s question: Last night I was discussing with someone how best to give constructive feedback. I think it’s relatively easy when the piece you are providing feedback on is good and merely needs the odd suggestion or tweak. But what if someone is really wide of the mark? How do you handle it if what they are passionate about needs a major overhaul? Under such circumstance you clearly can’t give feedback in open forum, that would be cruel; but if they asked 1-2-1 for an honest appraisal? I think all you may be able to do is take a small section of their work – a paragraph or a stanza – and show them how it could be (still with the vast majority of their words in situ), and then leave the rest to them. To tackle a whole piece would surely be soul-destroying, for both them and you; after all, we wouldn’t want that to happen to us…

#amwriting #writing #wrtingdiary

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