Sunday, May 5, 2013

Them's Fightin' Words

There are two kinds of people in the world: risk takers and scaredy cats. I've been thinking a lot about taking more risks as a writer. I think it's key, at least for me, to be braver, less coy, unafraid to come out from behind my protective armor. It's time for me to stop caring so much about what people will think of me because they might not like something I write. That being said, let's start again.

There are two kinds of people in the world: balls-out risk takers and chicken shits.

There. Do you hate me yet? The funny thing is that I swear like a sailor in real life, but somehow it seems…rude…in print. Using profanity in my writing, however, is not what I'm talking about when I say I need to take risks.

So, in an effort to be less chickenshitty, I'm opening the doors and windows of my comfortable writing home and stepping out into the big bad writing world. I'm joining new groups and exposing myself to new experiences. Like Write Club.

Here's what their website says about Write Club:

WRITE CLUB is bare knuckled lit.
WRITE CLUB is literature as blood sport.
WRITE CLUB does good without being annoying about it.
WRITE CLUB eats trouble and shits money.
WRITE CLUB is coming to your town.

2 opposing writers.
2 opposing ideas.
7 minutes apiece.
Audience picks a winner.
Writers compete for cash going to a charity of their choosing.

Here's what I say about Write Club:

It's kind of like debate team meets poetry slam—part preparation, part performance. And it's risky. The writers/performers take a risk. They put themselves and their writing out there for the world—or at least the audience—to cheer … or not. There is a winner and a loser.

In case you haven't figured it out by now, Write Club is a take off on the movie Fight Club. Now, I've never seen Fight Club, but even I know the first rule:

Write Club has rules, too, and the first rule is that everyone who attends must tell five to seven people about Write Club.

Here are the other rules.

Consider yourself told.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, I have not (yet) stepped into the Write Club ring. But I'm working my way up to it, since it seems that it might be the ultimate expression of Two Kinds of People.

Write Club got its start here in Chicago, and now has chapters in Evanston, Atlanta, Athens (GA), San Francisco, and Toronto. The next bout in Evanston is this Monday, May 6, 7:00 p.m. at Space. In Chicago, the next bout is at The Hideout, Tuesday, May 21, 7:00 p.m. Other cities, check your local listings.

Writers, what brave steps have you or are you taking in your writing? Other folks, are you taking any bold risks in your life these days?

P.S. And just because I'm this much of a word nerd, I looked up the origin of them's "fightin' words." Looks like the phrase was first used by Ring Lardner (a fellow Michigander) in Gullible's Travels c. 1917.


Victoria said...

First of all, Fight Club is one of the few movies I like better than the book. Secondly, I want to do this! Susan, you have to write.

Susan Bearman said...

V—come on down. We'll go together. They meet right down the street from me the first Monday evening of the month. Take a little road trip. It's sort of the ultimate Two Kinds of People fight to the finish.