Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Rhythm is gonna get ya!

We had such a great African Drumming workshop at Wrekin Writers yesterday. It was fantastic - those drums were being banged to within an inch of their lives! It was just so different to what we've had before at meetings and it's certainly worked its magic. I can't get the beats out of my head! This has lead to some pretty mean inspiration over last night and this morning; my pen has been red hot, scribbling down ideas that have come from banging on a drum  -  who would have thought?!

It was fun but we also learned a lot about the origins of those drums and how they have influenced music from jazz, rock to pop. The drums are given to children from when they are babies and each year they get a bigger drum. It's an intrinsic part of African culture and tradition. The slave trade, terrible as it was,  brought those drums and beats to the western world as when the slaves were working in the fields they would sing their traditional songs and use their tools to drum the beats of their homeland.  These beats formed the origins of some of the great music over the past decades.

I think writing and music are intrinsically linked  - particularly poetry - but also prose so if you can get to a drumming workshop or even bang on a drum at home - listen to music  it might just help your writing flow better or give you some inspiration! The rhythm has certainly got me.

Happy drumming 

Julie xx


Bethany Mason said...

Really interesting - would love to hear what else your writing group gets up to as I'm having difficulty getting my local one off the ground.

Julie P said...

Oh we get up to all sorts, Bethany - some we can't talk about in polite company!! ;0) We've had a meeting in a stately home, we've been to a writers' bash with other writing groups and listened to each other's work. We have an annual writing retreat and we do writing exercises too. We have a lot of guest speakers in: horror writing workshop, motivational speaker, fall in love with your writing speaker to name but a few. We have an annual open short story comp and we do a monthly Chairman's Challenge within the group where a small prize is offered for 100 words on a given subject.

I'm sorry you are having such trouble getting your local group off the ground. I guess it can take a while to get them up and running. How are you advertising your group and have you tried changing the time, dates and venue of your group to see where and when most people would prefer to attend?

You have to bear in mind that Wrekin Writers have been running for about 25-30 years! So they are well established and the area we meet (Telford) has a large population but we also get members from all over Shropshire. We are very lucky to have such a wonderfully supportive and dynamic group.

I hope your group finds its wings soon

Julie xx

Mike said...

Have you read Simon Whaley's excellent book, Running a Writers' Circle? I found it very useful when I was chairman of WW. See his website for details!

Good luck with your group,

Bethany Mason said...

Thanks for all the info, we have a lot of members as I have actually restarted the university group (though now I've changed it to allow anyone to attend) but other than workshopping and writing exercises we don't yet have the organisation or commitment to do much else. Next week we are having our first open mic session which I'm hoping will help to motivate everyone to participate more.

Julie P said...

I'd forgotten that Simon had written that book you know, Mike, so thank you for mentioning it. Simon also has a column in The New Writer about writing circles so that may be useful too, alongside his blog Simon Says and his website.

Julie xx

klahanie said...

Hi Julie,
After noting the title of your posting; I know have a certain song by 'Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine', going around and around in my head. Yikes lol
Julie, I often have music playing in the background when I write my blog. It is very conducive to the ambience.
Great posting and I totally agree that musically and writing are most assuredly linked.
With respect, Gary x

Julie P said...

Tee hee, Gary! You are never going to get that tune out of your head now!

I mostly write with the TV on:bad habit I know! But I think I should try putting on a CD that plays music conveying the emotion I want to infuse into my writing.

Take care

Julie x