This evening, Jen and I attended a Caught by the River event at the Golden Lion pub in Todmorden. The gig, MCed by Anna Wood, featured a surname-less ‘Roy’ (entertaining Scouse fiction writer), Amy Liptrot (reading about literal and metaphorical geologies, online dating, and raccoons), poet Zaffar Kunial, and a threesome from the Willowherb Review , Jessica Lee, Nina Mingya Powles, and Michael Malay. The event had received funding from Arts Council England. As always, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event. I was most impressed at the quality of the chosen pieces, and intrigued by what on earth it is that makes particular writers write in their own particular ways.
It later occurred to me perhaps there might be a useful rule of thumb here for my own writing… Every time I finish a piece, I should ask myself, ‘Can you imagine reading this in front of an audience?’ If the answer is no, perhaps I haven’t been ambitious enough.