The HANGAR | Gallery & Arts Initiative

Welcome to the official blog and media hub for The HANGAR | Gallery & Arts Initiative. Located in the Wynwood Arts District, The Hangar is dedicated to the collective movement of creative exhibition and seeks to open the lines of communication between artist, patron and community.

Writers’ conference attracts everyday folks with hidden talent

by Alexandra Pecharich

Denise Duhamel

I didn’t pay for this conference, I think to myself. I’m just an observer trying to write about what people do when they come to learn to write. Technically, I don’t have to do this exercise. Hmm. Well, how hard could it be, anyway? Hurry up, the clock is ticking.

Pens tap against notepads and concentration is writ small on foreheads. Twenty minutes to turn out something worth sharing. I see Haya Pomrenze, an occupational psychologist from Hollywood, Fla., who works “with very crazy people in a locked ward,” going strong.

Pamela Akins, from Connecticut, has spent a 30-year career writing for clients of her marketing firm and now wants to “slide into retirement” with a new kind of writing. I see beautiful lines of cursive flowing from her hand.

I have wasted my life.

Stop thinking about it, and just write. You’re a writer, after all! A second cup of coffee this morning might have helped. OK, OK, I’m forcing words onto my paper now, whatever I can think of. Who cares if it’s good or not. It’s 9:49 a.m.!

Duhamel calls us to stop, and smiles approvingly as she looks around.

“If you can take anything away from this conference, it’s that even just 20 minutes, the right 20 minutes, can be a lot,” she says, having observed the productive activity.

“The power of writing in groups. I feel like you can’t stop,” Duhamel continues. “If you’re at home, no one really knows if I get up and get a snack right now. But if you can grab a pal and just go to a coffee shop…so that you have someone to write with.”

Well, I think to myself, she has a point: I wouldn’t have written a word without the pressure of other people doing the same around me.

“Who wants to read their poem?”

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2012 by in What's Cooking? and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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