On Saturday, I went to a free ‘Day of Writing’ at Virginia Tech for students/faculty/community/anybody. the benefits of college towns. (: I’d never been to anything like this before, and I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but it was actually pretty neat!
Lots of interesting aspects, but the first hour-ish was a ‘writing marathon’. When I saw that on the itinerary, I was a little intimidated. But it actually ended up being a really fun exercise where everyone received a prompt — ‘a time you needed something’ — and the timer was set for 3 minutes. We all had to write what we could in the time limit. When the time was up, everybody went around the circle and read what they had written to the rest of their table. No feedback, just reading the words you had managed to dump. Although, we did end up laughing a lot….
Then, there was a 5-minute prompt, followed by two 7-minute prompts. The last 7-minute prompt was ‘something you need as a writer’. I decided to try something different than my previous responses, and go with a poem of sorts.
What I need is a heart,
one will go up against a thousand,
an army of escaped slaves against nations,
a pen against a sword.
“Recite verses for the king,” one of them wrote.
“If my heart forgets you, may my right hand lose its skill.”
For if not,
Then my writings are scribbles —
Black tracks stained with guilt.
I need a heart,
And these can only come from
Hear my cry, O Lord, attend unto my prayer.
Create in me a clean heart,
A right spirit.
Let me write for You.
Before all time.
If my words
They must flow from this.
References from Joshua 23:10, the Israelite conquest of Canaan, Psalms 45:1, 137:5, 61:1, 5110, and John 1:1.
Have you ever done a writing workshop-type thing? What do you need as a writer?