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Cheerful writing

Cheerful writing

Bookchat: Reasons to feel cheerful and write (and events June 25 onwards)

Why do we write? Somebody said it was to find out what we think. Last Thursday at the Sheer Poetry event at Bookbusters, Susan Evans told us that Anais Nin said it was ‘to taste life twice’. Angela J. Phillip has a look at some of the reasons we write – and some of the effects!  

  1. I’m writing to say I love you.
    We write to communicate not only with the beloveds who sit with us on the sofa (if they do) but with those who are further away. We need to arrange things like meetings and we need to tell people this and that.  Sometimes we want to say things to people we don’t know – to say how we feel about things. Or ask about something. We’ve got letters (oh so old-fashioned because they’re slow but still nice, like cards), emails, postings on social media, texts (all so fast but watch out, don’t press go too soon because if you’re angry, there’s no going back). The effects? We can spread information, anger or love. One thing though is sure –  your message will come across and you will change how someone feels. Maybe best to be careful then? If speech can be dangerous, just think about what the written word can do… (see last week’s post Writing is Dangerous..) but think what a force it can be for good things. I got your card this morning and I’m feeling better already.
  2. Where’s my pay cheque? Listen to me!
    Journalists and authors write for money and if we write at work that’s also writing that we get paid for. There are lots of sites on the web that tell you how to make money from writing but I’m not going to offer any here because most of them offer false promises. If you want to get rich, writing is not the way to do it but if you want to be heard, it’s easy these days. Social media is a new kind of journalism, largely unregulated but powerful so use it with care. And if you want to be published Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing makes that possible, too. (See articles Self-publishing on Amazon and 21 Things you didn’t know about Amazon Self-publishing.)
  3. One day Aunty Muriel sat on an egg. 
    Possibly one of the first reasons for writing was to record and remember. What would we do without our lists? To-do lists, shopping lists? And do you write a diary? Are you the record-keeper who writes down the family stories? If they are not written down, the stories die with the people. (New Writing South are offering courses in ‘Life Writing’ if you are interested – see details further down.)
  4. What happened the day Sam walked out?
    This is one of the main reasons that I write. To find out how I feel and what I think. I like to spread things out and look at them from a distance so I can understand them better. If you are angry, it often helps to write about it. For example, if you write to someone who has upset you and read it through first, it is often easier to understand what’s happened and will hopefully lessen the pain so you can rewrite your letter with less anger and achieve a better result. Writing does you good.
  5. Every Sunday morning my father sang round the house.
    Is there someone you greatly admire and love who you would like to write about? That’s a very good reason to write: to honour someone. You could write a story or a Facebook or blog post about them.
  6. To taste life twice
    This is my favourite. In some ways, this is the same as reason 4 (to work things out) but it’s broader – includes fun and delight. If something was good, why not write about it and keep it forever? If something was bad, you can write about it to try and see it more clearly. Whatever you write will be unique – we all see things and remember them differently. Remember that old Maurice Chevalier song? Ah yes, I remember it well.

If you feel like writing together with other writers (of all kinds – you don’t need to be an aspiring novelist but you could be) have a look at the writing sessions run by The Literary Shed (see below). If you would like help to write better, please see the details about writing courses run by CWP  with New Writing South (see below). And look out for the feature coming soon on those courses.


Rachel Neuburger-Reynolds at The Bookkeeper Bookshop

Rachel Neuburger-Reynolds Drowning Lessons book launch at The Bookkeeper Bookshop

Book Launch Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger-Reynolds
Last Saturday 22 June, Rachel’s new book Drowning Lessons, a mystery novel was launched at The Bookkeeper Bookshop.

I’m sorry I missed the event but would like to wish Rachel every success with her book.

Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger

Drowning Lessons by Rachel Neuburger-Reynolds

for more information:
Drowning Lessons is available from The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards. Please buy locally. If you are not in the area you can get it from Amazon.
Rachel Neuburger website


Bookbuster 39 Queens Rd, Hastings
Thurs 18 July, 6 – 9 pm £2 entry Sheer Poetry – an open mic poetry night

Printed Matter Bookshop 185 Queens Rd, Hastings TN34 1RG
Thurs 4 July, 6 pm Book launch and Q&A with Richard King and Ben Thompson
Mon 8 July 6 pm Planning meeting for Spirit of Robert Tressell Festival

The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards
Sun 14 July, 7 pm Bronwen Griffiths & Steve Amos will be talking about their new short story/flash fiction collections based on their childhoods/parenting.

The Literary Shed Writing Sessions run by A. Vasudevan
Two-hour weekly writing sessions in safe, creative spaces in Hastings and St Leonards
Thursday 27 June, 10–12 am (free) at Hastings Central Library, 13 Claremont, 3rd floor, Hastings
On the first Thursday of each month, there is also a writing critique group in which members share work.
For further information, please email:, subject: WRITE-INS.

Writing Courses from CWP with New Writing South
2 year Creative Writing Course
Advanced Writing Course
Autobiography and Life Writing Course
for details on all courses, please see  Creative Writing Programme in collaboration with New Writing South

Dear friends, that’s it for this week. Please see this week’s feature – Sheer Poetry, Sheer Delight. Please do post comments either here on in the Facebook Bookchat group.

Thanks for reading.

Angela J. Phillip

Posted 18:05 Monday, Jun 24, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat

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