Interview with Emily Paull from Write Night
Do you crave for a conducive environment to write? Are you looking for honest critique on your works-in-progress from other local writers? Write Night at the Centre for Stories provides just this for writers like yourself in a safe, supportive environment.
The event, co-ordinated by Emily Paull and Belinda Hermawan, promises inspiring and highly stimulating sessions every second Tuesday of the month. Emily is a writer, blogger and bookseller who writes short fiction and historical fiction, and has had her work published in METIOR, (Re)Sisters and the 2016 Margaret River Press Anthology Shibboleth and Other Stories. Belinda is an aspiring novelist and short fiction writer who is currently a Studios Manager at artist-run-initiative Paper Mountain and also working in Digital Communications for WA’s peak literary body Writing WA. She was also the former president of the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA writers’ centre. We caught up with Emily as she shares her thoughts on Write Night.
As an event coordinator, what are some objectives that you wish to achieve from the Write Night group?
When Belinda and I first started Write Night, it was the create a safe space that writers could come to and just get some words on the page- whatever else was going on in their lives. It can be easy in a self-disciplined job like writing to put your creative work as last priority because it’s not necessarily generating you an income. But with Write Night, for those two hours every two weeks, you get to put writing first. And sometimes, that will be the only writing a person does for the whole fortnight, so that’s really important. The other really important aspect of Write Night is brain training. You can’t wait for the muse to come to you all the time, and you can’t put off writing until you ‘feel inspired’. You’re not always going to have the ideal conditions. We’re training ourselves to just write, just get the words on the page, whenever we sit down at the desk.
Is the group open to writers of all genres?
Absolutely. We have romance writers, poets, playwrights and people who are exploring narrative non-fiction. We have writers who don’t even really know what kind of writing they are doing just yet. Sharing what we come up with from some of the prompts is always really fun because everyone interprets the prompts so differently.
Does age/skill level/experience matter?
Definitely not—we only ask that people who come to the group be respectful of others and their time.
What can participants expect from joining the group and what are some of the more valuable things that they can gain?
At the very least, you’ll drink a cup of tea and write some words that you never want to look at again. But you might also surprise yourself with what you come up with, and make some great friends at the same time. Writing is a solo activity, but there’s also a community aspect.
How important do you think it is, as a writer, to participate in a writing group every once in a while to write and discuss ideas?
You could write a whole book without being in a writing group—it’s not essential. But I think the value is in having other creative people around you. Creativity isn’t finite. We’re not all competing for the few ideas that are out there. It’s quite the opposite. The more you talk about your ideas, the more they grow, and the excitement and encouragement you can get from the other people in your group can really motivate you to keep going. I also never underestimate the value of someone’s honest opinion. Having other writers in your life who you trust to tell you when something you’re writing just isn’t working is invaluable.
How do you think Write Night will benefit the writing community in Western Australia?
We already have a really fantastic writing community in WA—everyone is so generous with their time and support and I feel really lucky to be a part of that. It’s hard to say what the benefit will be in the long term, but if it means that more emerging voices are nurtured and encouraged, it can only be a good thing. Some amazing new writing is coming out of this State and I am just enjoying being a part of it. I hope that groups like Write Night might give some people who would otherwise not feel like they are able to get their writing out there a place to experiment and grow.
Click here to see when the next Write Night is on.