New Years, 2014
An Introduction to the Say It Right Writers Circle A Manifesto, Of Sorts â€“ Phil Chokeword
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A Manifesto, Of Sorts By Phil Chokeword I guess this project came about because of New Years, which I feel slightly odd about. This view might not be representative of my fellow writers as a whole but I don’t care - fuck New Years. There is too much pressure to have a great time. It’s for part timers, off the leash doing what they’re told they should do. Having the best party of the year, man. I’ve even less time for that bullshit now I’m sober. Get out the fucking way. My New Years resolution? It’s to not be like you. I do like a good creative project though. And I find that all the talk of new starts - alongside the winter break giving me the rare opportunity to take time out to think - tend to lead me to remember that there are a few ideas that I’m itching to try. This is one of those ideas. I remembered it because of a conversation about New Years so I guess it therefore came about because of New Years. Honestly - despite my overwhelmingly negative feelings about it as a holiday - this happens a lot of years. I don’t know what that says about me. (Fuck New Years.) Anyhow I’ve spent the last 15 years working on weird DIY creative projects. In my humble opinion some of the common elements of the best of these are as follows: A project should not out stay its welcome. It shouldn’t go on forever until everyone gets bored with it. No point running things into the ground. End on a high. Kill it dead. It should have rules, a frame work for what the project is about. A few rules give you pointers in the right direction. Give yourself wiggle room, give yourself space to bend the rules but give yourself structure. It should seek to achieve something. It should have a goal. It should build towards something. You’ve watched Breaking Bad. There should be an end of season finale. There are plenty of other signs of a good project - but this is where we are at. The Say It Right Writing Circle will last for a year. It will remain a small group of writers. Every month, each writer will submit 700 words on a given topic (standard 10% word count rulings apply so it’s actually 630 to 770 but you get what I mean, right?). This can be fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Poems can be any length because 700 words is like the Iliad. The topic will change every month and be picked by someone from the circle. After a month’s cooling off period during which the authors can rework them, the contributions will be posted to the blog. After 12 months, the writing will come out as a one off zine. At that point, the Say It Right Writing Circle will end. Why bother? Because we like to write but we don’t remember to make the time or because we need reminding of it or because we sometimes don’t get to say all the things we want to say or because we don’t have confidence to share our work alone or because we want to try something new and we need an excuse or because we are creative motherfuckers and we can’t not be creative motherfuckers any more than you can stop shitting, you shitter. Who are we? We are the punx, we are gardeners, we are historians, we are activists, we are musicians, we are seekers of mythological beasts; we are dreamers, we are academics, we are curators, we are bike jocks, we have grey hair and tattoos we still like and we are drowning in bad ideas. Can you join in? No, this project is invite only. But stay a while, have a read, make a cup of tea, download the PDF and browse it on your Kindle when your train gets delayed because of the rain. Then go off and set up your own creative project. Do mad shit just because you can and tell us about it. We will love you for it. So... This is the very first piece. It’s a manifesto of sorts. I’m posting it up about the same time as the pieces written for January are being finished up. Those stories are cooling off whilst we work on February’s topic. I’ll post the first contributions up to the blog in late Feb and we’ll crack on from there. See you then.