This post was written by Muse McCormack, a mentee in our Writing & Mentoring Program.
All I want to do is write. It’s all I have ever wanted to do. My great passion, my only desire (or at least one of the biggest). That’s why I signed up for Girls Write Now and the fiction workshop was the start of that. Orientation was like a practice run; this was the real race.
I sat down wondering what the day would bring. This was my first time (and my mentor’s first time) at a Girls Write Now workshop. Neither of us knew what would happen. I saw a fellow mentee I had met previously and nodded to her. Smiles of recognition, but creased brows signified that we couldn’t remember each other’s name.
We sat in a small circle, mentors and mentees, waiting for it to begin, excitement and light chatter heightened, till a bell rang out, announcing the beginning.
We sat silently, wrapped in attention, as “The Pine” was read to us by the guest speaker, Hasanthika Sirisena. Then, we were given a quest: create a character from someone we have seen, but don’t know. Give them a desire and give them something to overcome in order to achieve their desire. This is what makes a good story.
And so began. Our heads bent and our pens scribbling, our characters spilled forth. As I looked up, ready to share and defend my new child, a twist was thrust upon us. A collective groan. Someone else had to give us a conflict for our fledglings to overcome. Our heads bent again, then raised.
As each of us went around to share, we smiled and laughed. We weren’t just sharing our characters, but ourselves as well. We opened up and soon the conversations veered ever so slightly away from just the task. We began talking more in depth, more passionately.
I had entered unsure, but I realized that this was the start of something, a new community, a new part of my story. Girls Write Now orientation had shown us what we would be encountering this year and the October 25th fiction workshop had begun the year with a great encounter. I left excited for what was to come and the friends and people who I have yet to meet. As I descended in the elevator, I smiled. This had been the first hurdle, the first conflict to overcome. I was accomplishing my desire and Girls Write Now was helping.