The Creative Writers' Group

Updated: Apr 21, 2019

Jane was plain.

She was invisible like the air and hushed like a family secret. Nobody knew she was there. Jane left no marks or indentations from where she had been and no one remembered her name. She was here and she was gone, like a touch that never became a feeling, like a thought that never became an idea.

But things were going to change.

Jane had been to the library and she had seen the poster. Her future life flashed before her. This was Jane’s calling. She, plain Jane from nowhere, was about to be discovered.

Creative Writers’ Group.

Mondays 3pm

All welcome.

‘Hello, hello’.

‘Yes, who is this?’ The voice at the end of the phone was clipped, distinct, sophisticated.

Jane adopted her posh voice, the one she used for complaints and doctor’s appointments.

‘H-Hello, I was, I saw, erm, the writers' group.’

‘Ah yes,’ the man said, ‘We meet on Mondays. Bring something you have written, a short story or something, maybe a poem. Have you written before; er.....what was your name?’

‘Jane,’ said Jane.

‘Oh, we have another Jane, very good writer, award winner, three times published. Wonderful writer, great command of language, and funny, very funny.’

Jane hated Jane already.

Fortunately, there was still time to write a best seller. Four days was an eternity for an invisible friendless nobody with only a cat litter tray to commit to.

The days passed so quickly though and the waste paper basket swelled with rejects. Why did nothing work? Where were all the stories? Where were the amusing, the quick, the sharp, the unexpected, the surprise and the twist?

The days passed so quickly though and the waste paper basket swelled with rejects. Why did nothing work? Where were all the stories? Where were the amusing, the quick, the sharp, the unexpected, the surprise and the twist?

It was Sunday when it finally came; the literary greatness that would mark Jane above all other humans. The ideas shot through her pen like tribal arrows laced with suspense and intrigue.

Jane was finally, A CREATIVE WRITER.

But Sleep came late in the excitement of tomorrow and Jane tossed and turned. Another minute, another fantasy.

There were awards. She thanked her mother. There were lovers who left because they were jealous of her success. There were royalty checks in piles on the door mat.

Next day, Jane woke exhausted. Her sleep had been restless and tinged with anxiety. She hoped she was not too working-class to be accepted into the writers’ group. She hoped the other Jane was fat, at the very least, or maybe had been left at the alter once.

Arriving at the library had been traumatising. The rain, a vengeful puddle, loose knickers and a vagrant stalker, had all conspired with chance to make her late. Then she had mis-heard the floor level and mezzanine and had ended up in a toilet.

Finally, she was forced, to be extrovert.

‘I am Jane’, she shouted, not meaning to be so loud. ‘Is this, ’quietly mumbling‘, the creative writers’ group?’

Everyone looked. The other Jane, who was one of those sassy middle-aged women who shopped in Brighton and would no doubt sashay when she walked, glanced above her varifocals at the interruption of her creative recital.

Jane apologised far too profusely and headed to the only available chair next to a far-to-attractive man. Little shock waves shot through her chest. A fight flight panic ensued and she nearly missed her footing with the chair.

‘Are you ok?’ asked another man, also far-too-attractive. He was called Andrew and he looked like a prince.

Twelve creative writers stared. Jane tried to breath the way her life coach had told her to.

The other Jane began to read again, loudly, to draw the crowd in.

And so the group, one by one, read their work from published pros or excerpts of next best sellers. They were good, very good, too good.

‘Well,’ said other Jane, ‘have you brought a little something or is it too soon?’

Jane rose to the challenge.

‘It’s called ‘Lovers’, Erm, I’ll just start, shall I?’

The other Jane was unimpressed and raised a salon shaped eyebrow.

Everyone nodded. The good-looking man next to her, who was called Ruben, said ‘Please do Jane,’ in overly eager tone, and the others chuckled at his keenness.

Jane does not clearly remember what happened next.

What she did recall was that the other Jane walked out in disgust at the reading of the lesbian breast paragraph, and that the posh man who she had talked to on the phone told her to stop immediately at the melted butter on buttocks section; because this was not ‘that sort of writing group’. Someone else had pointed angrily to the exit and there was even mention of the police.

At home Jane drowned her sorrows in a bottle of red wine.

The morning after she stirred from the sofa that had been bed for the night and saw the sad knickers with the broken elastic laying unceremoniously on the floor. They had finally given up like her author’s spirit.

She was no writer after all. The cat looked at the knickers too, then at the phone which vibrated energetically.

Jane thrust out a hand to answer it.

‘Hello, hello, is that Jane?’

‘Yes, said Jane, clearing her throat, ‘who is this?’

‘It’s Ruben, from the creative writers’ group, you left your purse. Erm, hope you don’t mind, your number was in it. I was wondering if you would like coffee?’

Later Andrew, who looked like a prince, sent a text with a similar request, adding

‘I simply loved your writing Jane, so very talented.’

Jane luxuriated in the day and settled down for a surge of writing, having had two successful coffee dates with creative writers. The ideas were coming thick and fast. There was plenty more where the butter scene had come from.

And just before setting the words in tomes, she popped into her google search:

‘creative writing groups south coast of England’

It turns out there are quite a few.

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