BY ANAAM IKRAM
Using various writing media such as poetry and short stories, Writer’s Ink provide a platform for creative expression and for its members to practice their imagination, and experiment with various literary media.
Co-founders Mohammed Zuwayed and Sahar Nass spoke to Perle Magazine about how their common passion for creative writing lead them to Writer’s Ink.
Meeting through mutual friends, Sahar and Mohammed realised they share the same affinity towards creative writing, but there was no dedicated outlet for them to showcase their work. “There is no real community, at least for people our age and those whore are more contemporary”, he says. Taking the initiative, Mohammed and Sahar decided to set up Writer’s Ink in May 2015. “If you want anything to grow in a community, you have to get a group of people to nurture it and be dedicated to it” he says. Setting up an Instagram account and using it as a means of communicating with interested writers, Mohammed says their club helps people with creative writing expression, discussion about writing, and how to improve their skills. Giving like-minded individuals a common place, Writer’s Ink quickly attracted a lot of people with the same passion. Meeting once every two weeks, Sahar and Mohammad give the writers a prompt based on which they have to produce their next piece using whatever creative writing medium they are most comfortable with. In each meeting the members are given the floor to share their work and the remaining members give their feedback on the presented pieces. “The most important thing when it comes to writing and working with people is the feedback. It provides you with motivation and critique and all the things you need to move forward that you cannot give yourself”, Mohammed says.
Passionate about writing from the very start, both Sahar and Mohammed started writing from a very young age. Speaking of their own creative writing styles, Mohammad says he has been dubbed “The King of Darkness” as he is notorious for his dark short stories, whereas Sahar has a Free Verse style of writing poetry. They both say they base their writing on their personal experiences. In her work Sahar emphasises the use of oxymora (singular: oxymoron) and juxtaposes contradictory elements as a means of expression. Comparing and contrasting the elements of nature with those of the modern world, Sahar wrote her piece, When The Ordinary Borders The Extraordinary to reveal her much-liked writing style. Mohammad says he focuses on writing in a manner that confuses the readers emotionally. “When people are confused about their feelings, they’ll tend to mull over it in their heads, they will think about it”, and adds that writing something predictable is boring and does not create a lasting impression. “Anything that is worth reading, is daring”, he says, and showcased this in his piece, Purple.
In their pieces, they both agree the characters they portray are, in a way, fragments of themselves. “I would say they are fragments of my former self, of my ideal self, of my current self”, Sahar explains. “You take elements of certain things, and how you feel and put them together and get something new and you repeat the process for each character. I think it always starts with something you feel”, Mohammad adds.
Writer’s Ink has an eclectic mix of writers with varying styles of writing, so as to not exclude anyone who wishes to write creatively. From Travel writing to Arabic poetry and monologues, Writer’s Ink welcomes everyone who has a keen interest in experimenting with the different creative writing media and want to work on their writing skills.
The creative co-founders encourage all those looking to embark on a writing career to pursue it. “If you’re a writer, just write. Don’t worry if it is not good enough. Don’t worry if somebody is telling you it is not going to get you anywhere. Just do it” Mohammed says. He also adds that it is important to get feedback from other people about a piece of work but it is also necessary to make sure that all criticism is taken with a pinch of salt. Fortunate enough to never receive any negative comments about her work, Sahar says that when they give feedback during their meetings, it is not in the hopes to change someone’s work, but rather to support them. “Through this group you have the support of everyone around you and you know what you are getting is valid feedback”, she adds. Mohammad also warns against sharing work with too many people before it is complete, as it might not deliver the desired effect.
In order to be a good writer, Mohammad advises reading and writing extensively everyday and create a large body of work. “It is very hard to write everyday. It is hard to have that kind of discipline,” he says, and adds that though it is common for individuals to not be able to aptly convey their feelings through their words, they should write it all down and work on it. “If you practice everyday and you have a healthy self editing process. I think you will get there for sure. You just have to stick with it and talk about what you know.”
In the future, Writer’s Ink hopes to expand onto an online forum to include as many people as possible. Sahar and Mohammad explain that though the online forum will not follow the same format as the face-to-face meetings but it will still be a place for writers to showcase their work. “I know as a child, I would have liked a group or sanctuary like Writer’s Ink for me to be a part of and express myself, show off my work and get feedback”, Sahar says, and adds that in the future they also look forward to being mentors for adolescents who have an interest in writing.
Open to anyone looking to enhance their writing skills, Writer’s Ink gives its members the opportunity to delve into the literary world through creative means. Through this initiative, writers in Bahrain are finally getting a chance to connect with and learn from each other in the hopes of becoming future novelists, poets, and storytellers.
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