84 Words at Number 84

A little social group for writers

Our local cafe started a new social event for writers tonight. “84 Words” is a writing social for anyone with an interest in writing. Given my inability to get pen to page with any frequency, I thought this would be a good way to kick myself into action…

For a long time I’ve been wanting to make friends in Gravesend. I’ve been here three years now and still don’t really know anyone besides my partner’s friends and family and I’ve become rather isolated. I wanted to make friends on my own terms, and when I saw the advert for a little writing social event at my local cafe, I was excited to join in. Perhaps it would help me make new friends and get an opportunity to write?

Last night was the first one of these and it was a small, informal affair. Number 84 is a lovely little cafe already (I go there for the Gravesend Skeptics meetings), so any opportunity to sample their amazing cakes must be taken! Last night we were given Pecan Pie to sweeten the deal, and they were fabulous.

There were eight of us, some of whom haven’t written before, while others have been writing for years for fun. Two have been writing more seriously and one local lady is trying to get her first completed novel published: an urban fantasy set in Gravesend which sounded fascinating. I’d definitely want to read that.

We spent the first hour just chatting about writing, and shared our experience, or lack of. This was a fun chat and it was great to hear so many insights from more experienced writers. After that, we all spent ten minutes writing an 84 word story, that had to use the phrase “Pecan Pie”. This was great fun and the stories were quite varied, although five of them included murder. I can see this is going to be a group I need to be careful around. I decided to write a quick story using just dialogue: Pecan Pie.

Our “homework” is to write another 84 word paragraph. This time it’s to be the start of a longer story, and must include the word “Parrot”. When we gather again next month, we’ll pass around our paragraph and everyone else must then continue the story. We’ll then pass them around again, so that eventually we’ll each have written 84 words in each of the stories. I’m looking forward to that: who knows what we might end up with?

This was a lovely evening and I feel that it will be a good way for me to try writing in a safe environment. It will definitely help me get over some of my fears about sharing my work.