What I want to write about…

I’ve written before about the joy I found in making and binding my own books. Last week was a particularly joyous week! I attended a week-long workshop called Adventures in Bookmaking. The agenda was varied. We made “marks” on paper using ink and natural dyes and bound these pages into books using various techniques. I wasn’t so much interested in the “arty” mark-making. I just wanted to make books! One of the warm-up activities was an exercise in free writing. We were given the following prompt and a ten-minute time limit: What I want to write about is…

Zero Waste Writing

As someone who believes in reducing waste, including not wasting writing, here is my free-flowing, unstructured and lightly edited piece. Like all streams of consciousness writing, it turned into a bit of a diatribe but raised some interesting talking points.

What I want to write about is…

What I want to write about is the way the world could be organised and managed differently. To go back in time before capitalism rules everything. The time before money. The time we only took what we needed, fixed what we broke and treasured the things we had.

I want to write about a world that values us all, even if we don’t produce wealth for “the man”. I want us to care about how much we use. 

I want to write about growing food, making our own stuff, and going back to a time before plastic was king. I want to see a world where we only use our fair share and don’t exploit people who don’t own the means of production. I want to work out a system where we can barter, and trade, and all our skills are equally valuable.

I want to write against people like Trump and Putin.

I want to write for peace. 

I want to write for the trees. 

I want to write for my grandson, so his world will at least be liveable. 

I want my writing to touch people and have them understand, that, yes, individual actions do make a difference but it’s the big end of town that must bear the biggest burden. I don’t think I mean communism, but I do mean social democracy with a long-term view, not a four-year voting cycle. 

I want men to learn how to be humans first. I want them to be free of the tyranny of the masculine hegemonic system.  Then, when that happens, the “others” like women, the LGBTQI+ community, less able people, and people of colour, will also be freed. I want the word political correctness to vanish or at least be seen for what it is. A way to keep the rulers in power and excuse the behaviour they hide beneath the veneer of “comedy”.  

I want the world’s population to stop growing. We are like cockroaches and need to reduce our numbers so we can balance the Earth again.

When we finished, the group shared their writing. The responses were, not unexpectantly, very varied. The exercise served its purpose. A group of strangers got to know each other very quickly and a comfortable feeling of vulnerability and sharing emerged.  You can read more about the actual workshop here.

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