THE WRITE HABIT
Write. Just do it. Then again. Then some more. And more.
Do not wait for inspiration; if you do enough of it often enough, inspiration will eventually come.
– Nancy Kress
One of the greatest battles for a writer can be simply sitting down to write. We believe that writing is for everybody, a craft that requires nurturing and a sense of rigour like any other. The aim isn’t to become an award-winning writer; rather it is to see if it can be a way to express one’s inner world.
Is there really a right way to write?
There is no one answer to it. From Steven Milhauser to Edith Wharton, writers have waxed eloquent about how much they prep before they cook (write). As author George Saunders wrote in one of his missives, “each of us will end up coming up with an answer particular to ourselves, and the very process of coming up with that answer, over the years, through trial-and-error, is/ends up being, ‘our method’.”
While methods may differ, everyone seems to agree that this elusive ‘method’ can only be arrived at after writing again and again. But never mind again and again, how do we get down to sitting and typing that first draft out of us?
At Bhasha Centre, we decided to address this specific question. We created a low-investment, entry-level workshop to engender the habit of writing (and surprise, surprise, hence the name of the workshop).
We got in touch with Chanakya Vyas, playwright of plays like Algorithms and Jhund, and former Artistic Director of Indian Ensemble, and together…
Together, we hammered out a 3-day module to get aspiring writers to exercise their writing muscle, by simply exercising it.
What happens at The Write Habit?
Lots of writing!
It’s about building the habit of writing.
So, we begin with some writing exercises to warm up those writerly muscles –
some focus on writing 2-3 page scenes,
identifying your protagonist,
deciding what’s their unique trait and
their flaw and more.
The next two days are centred around working with your idea.
Six hours of a marathon writing session: good, bad, ugly; doesn't matter.
You will receive individual, bespoke feedback from the facilitator.
You will engage with it and rewrite.
Cut. Edit. Thaw. Dwell. Revisit. Question.
You will read the scenes you’ve written, and be pushed to think along multiple tracks.
Cull, embellish, reroute, rethink.
What else will I get from The Write Habit?
Well, we hope you will have:
a) an appreciation for the practice of just sitting down and writing
b) a clear direction to follow for your play or playlet, and
c) a small network of peers to stay in touch with
So, if you’re someone who has wondered if you could write, thought of what you could have said in that conversation hours ago or have an idea for a play gnawing at your brain, then The Write Habit is for you!
When and where is The Write Habit happening next?
Dates: 30 June - 2 July 2023
Venue: 1 Shanthi Road Studio, Shanthinagar, Bengaluru
Workshop fee: INR 4000/-
(If you're unable to afford the fee, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Get into the Write Habit. Apply Now!
Know Your Facilitators
Our workshops in Bengaluru are currently facilitated by Chanakya Vyas – a playwright, director, screenwriter and educator. His plays for theatre include Tales of Kutty, Prelude, Algorithms and Age of Offence; adaptations include Jhund (Herd) based on Slawomir Mrozek's Striptease for the Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival and Hamlets Live based on the soliloquies of Hamlet for Science Gallery Bengaluru. In 2020, he received the Project 560 grant by India Foundation for the Arts to create an interactive game performance and audio series titled Once there was a lake.
He was the Artistic Director of Indian Ensemble from 2018-22. His awards include the first runner-up at the Sultan Padamsee Playwriting Award and the Charles Wallace India Trust Award to study devised theatre and performance at the London International School of Performing Arts.
What participants have to say about The Write Habit
“It helped me get started firstly! Got to learn the basics of playwriting. It also got me thinking about aspects of the craft I know little about. And I loved how Chanakya framed the workshop and taught us in the three days.”
-Tania Thomas, journalist and actor
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to know theatre or be a theatrewallah to participate in this workshop?
Absolutely not. When we began designing the workshop, our intention was to bring the fun back in writing -- that writing doesn't have to be a pursuit only for people who are serious about doing theatre. You don't have to be a Mahesh Elkunchwar to be able to enjoy writing plays or you don't have to write an award-winning play at the first go, and most importantly, you don’t have to be a theatre-goer to write a play. It can merely be one of the ways in which your creativity finds expression.
2. I’ve never written a play. Does that matter?
It’s great that you’re a new writer! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never written a play. We are more interested in helping you find a way to write the stories you want to tell.
3. I am a mid-career playwright. Do I even need this workshop?
The workshop focuses on the practice of writing. Whether you are a beginner or a mid-career writer, at some point, we all struggle with sitting down and getting the first draft out of us without worrying about how good or bad it is. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a draft or a scene, this workshop will nudge you towards completing a draft along with some tools and techniques to aid you.
4. I can’t afford the fee. Can I still apply?
We encourage you to apply. If you’re unable to afford the fee, please write to us at email@example.com.
5. Will I receive feedback and mentorship even after the workshop is over?
Our facilitators have generously made themselves available to participants even after workshops got over in the past, provided you also come to them with scripts and scenes you’ve worked on. This is purely voluntary on their part, so we request that you be mindful of their time and space.
6. Is there an online version of the workshop?
No, we are currently holding in-person workshops in Bangalore and Delhi, and will be expanding to Mumbai too, soon. If you’d like us to come to your city/town, let us know via email!
Have more queries? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.