Tuesday, 1 March 2011

People who want to write for Profit

I sat down to wait and the class soon started to dribble back to the classroom carrying coffee and Coke cans. I wonder how we would all survive without our favourite stimulants? With some dismay I realise that the class is made up almost entirely of women, the one man could be described as thinking woman's crumpet and a very nice crumpet he was, too with his distinguished grey hair and intellectual looking glasses. I'm too married and too shy to actually flirt with a man like that, at least for the first half hour, but all flirtatious fantasies were dashed when I realised he was there with his partner. The happy couple were seated near an eighties obsessed paranormal loving weirdo who spoke in a strangely low voice and seemed blithely unaware that she might appear to be a teeny bit off the planet. The oldest of the group was one of those massively groomed ladies whose age can only be determined as higher than she would like. Who else would bother with the dying, the blow drying, the foundation, lipstick, manicure....just looking at her made me feel impoverished and tired. The beautiful Indian lady says very little, the self described green living aficionado next to me doesn't look so green when I consider the petrochemicals used in her flourescent nail polish or the toxic organic chemistry involved in her unnaturally black hair. On my other side is a woman declares herself to be thirty five but her skin is more like that of a thirty year old, her eyes have none of the tiredness of family and career and I envy her a little until I realise that her child-like way of starting every question with "Sorry" makes me want to scream. In her favour, she gives us a good five minutes, maybe ten, of side splitting laughter as she reads her introduction to a proposed piece of writing about men and their Brazilians (and she didn't mean South American soccer players) The writing is great but even better is her self conscious disclaimer that even though she has a broad experience of hair free men she is no slut. She plays nervously with her hair as we fall about laughing and she digs herself deeper into the quagmire of embarrassment. One woman wants to write a book about family traditions but seems unable to tell us anything more and what could be a fascinating idea is lost to lack of specificity. As I quietly decide that a lot of these people seem more interested in themselves than in writing I also realise that I am an unbearable snob, not in the sense that money or status impress me but I really cannot bear pretenders and without fair trial I have convicted this lot as just that.


  1. I love it kylie. I like to think what the other people in a room are like and try not to be judgemental. "My work had a Harmony in the workplace" workshop yesterday and we are all attending different sessions. Next one in a months time. All i could see out of it was mainly common sense being used.

  2. Writing for money? This is a a course? I thought it was a lesson in counterfeiting. That's the easiest way to write money.

  3. hey jo,
    we need a harmony workshop at my work!!

    counterfeit is looking pretty attractive at this point!

  4. Loved it Kylie. Having taken my share of writing classes, it's always fun (for me at least)to see if the story matches the person. The best writings were those that did NOT match....the beautiful woman writing about being shy; the jokester in the group writing about how humor kept the pain away while growing up....All too often of course, people just write what they think they SHOULD write and not what they really want to.

  5. Ah I could go on and on. . . writers by nature are vain. Would be writers by nature are vain and can't take criticism. Just click on most of the web based writer's meme sites and check out the sycophantic comments for what can only be described, in most cases, as crap.

    Don't judge the Brasilian lady too harshly. I write about stuff of which I have no experience, I'm just a good researcher with a vivid imagination.

    I love your people observations (then I'm one of these types that can miss my train because I'm too busy staring at the suit fishing a newspaper of of the bin). I would like to have a crack at one of these workshops though.

    Oh and sorry if you received spam from my Gmail. My 'phisherman' is back and impersonating me!

  6. ah baino!
    the brasilian lady made it clear that she knew from experience. nobody but herself made any judgement, it was hilarious!

    i'm worriednow, i dont think i'm vain so does that mean i'm wrong about myself or that i cant be a writer?? :)

    i never got anything from your phisherman so dont worry

  7. mike,
    if i understand you cant imagine the joker having pain?
    my dear, thats where the laughs come from!

  8. Good luck in the writing class Kylie. At least it sounds like you have plenty of interesting subjects in the classroom. It is hard not to judge and place people in categories. We are always comparing ourselves to others. I guess passing judgment is in our DNA, and I would not feel too bad because we all do it.

  9. Nothing wrong with being critical of posers, their pretentiousness is very annoying. I suppose we all do it to some extent, but some people are so fake it's unbelievable.

    So not much writing being done yet, apart from the piece about men's Brazilians? It doesn't look too promising if people haven't already written a few things.

    And you should be thinking about writing, not salivating over the intellectual crumpet....

  10. nick,
    i didnt get any crumpet but i wrote a post!

  11. mr shife,
    sometimes i categorise people just for fun...

    but dont tell anyone!


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