Writing ugly, a first step to beautiful prose

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Ugly can become beautiful

Writing tutor Jo Parfitt has a new phrase* to help you improve your writing skills: Write Ugly! (*The phrase originated from Keri, one of the people that Jo mentors, which she gratefully and graciously acknowledges.)

Writing ugly is about writing a scrappy, illegible table of contents for that book on a piece of paper you tear from the back of a book.
 
Writing ugly is about setting the timer for ten minutes and making yourself write with no particular direction in mind, again longhand, just to see where the words take you.
 
Writing ugly is about chucking random phrases down, one on each line and calling the result a poem on short lines, like novelist Catherine Cookson did.
 
Writing ugly is about ‘putting your pen on the paper and just going’, as Natalie Goldberg instructs in her seminal book on speedwriting, Writing Down the Bones.

Writing ugly is about sending your sabotaging inner perfectionist on a long hike.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Jo says: “Without the pressure of the knowledge that what you put down has to ultimately be useable, you can let rip. What does it matter if what you throw at the page never actually turns into a draft of something? “
 
She says that writing ugly is akin to limbering up, flexing your writing muscles, simply getting words down on paper and out of your head. Jo took the new phrase for its first outing in a recent newsletter. She asks: “What do you think? Will it catch on?”

Let us know! And you could talk more to Jo about writing ugly (and writing beautifully, of course) on her Write Your Life Stories course here, from Saturday 9 May to Saturday 16 May 2020. You can learn more by clicking here.

We already have 11 people booked into Jo’s course so we only have room for one more person. Now is your chance to grab the opportunity of becoming the writer you always wanted to be. Jo says: “You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

 The workshop will include several methods and genres and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.

As a guest on one of Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill said: “It is a very special and beautiful place, and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.” Another said: “It was a great week: “Beautiful setting, perfect weather, delicious food and some super outings, who could ask for anything more — and I did quite a bit of writing!”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Sharing your experiences on the vine verandah

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Jo Parfitt

Jo Parfitt
2 – 9 May 2020 – one place left
Write the stories of your life
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2020 Profile Page.

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