Writing evenings in Leigh-on-Sea

April 29, 2018 by Ray Morgan

Picture the scene: I'm at my laptop in a café, tapping away while a sudden April shower sheets down outside. There's jazzy music playing in the background, set off by the coffee machine steam and the shake of a cocktail being made.

I sip my drink: a tart, tangy, limey, cucumbery gin cocktail called The Southend Standard in a classy coupe. It goes down well but in a "I'm going to take my time" way - this is not a drink to be guzzled. Writing and having a tot of something seem to go hand-in-hand. I look out of the window at the Broadway, at the evening coming in. I write.

This was the first of our monthly evenings at Corner Club for writers to escape the call of Netflix, or housework. (When I try to write at home I suddenly become very good at putting washing away, or faffing in the garden). 'I Like to Write' was set up by my partner, Jo Overfield, first at Metal in Chalkwell Park and latterly when she ran Elsie's Place café in Leigh Community Centre.

We'd open it in the evenings once a month and play Ella Fitzgerald records, and everyone would drink the great coffee and eat our homemade cakes, and of course write. It worked well, and we had a loyal fanbase. After her café closed, we tried a few other venues but they weren't quite right. In fact, one got turned into a nail bar without us knowing and we turned up with our laptops and found signs for shellac instead. What could be more Essex than that? We waited it out, and when Corner Club opened in the old Birdwood building, we thought it would be perfect.

So flash forward to 2018 and we have a new venue. Corner Club are very kindly opening the café just for writers on the last Wednesday of the month, from 5.30pm to 8pm. You can plug in your laptop, or scribble in your notepads (digital and analogue writers welcome).

Writing is a lonely business. But there are so many distractions in the home (TV, washing up, children, pets, partners, succulents that need misting) - we're giving writers the chance to get out of the house, sit in a different location, and get some work done.

And work we did! Even though friendly faces were there at our first one, after a quick hello, we did actually get on with it. I went straight from work and, fuelled by the Southend Standard, managed to get a good couple of thousand words written. Not too shabby when I'd have normally gone straight home, got into my PJs and watched Friends on Netflix AGAIN.

As the Essex Writers House in Chalkwell Hall proved during the month of March, where we live is teeming with writers. They're everywhere! If you write, or you've had an idea you want to start, this could be the perfect opportunity.

One of our writers posted this afterwards and we were so touched, I had to share it with you:

"I'm so happy that I Like to Write is back! Thanks Jo and Ray for organising and it was so lovely to catch up! With so many projects buzzing around my head, I spent my time running through some writing exercises this time and I'm feeling much more focused today. If you Like to Write but haven't been to this gem of an evening before, come along."

I Like to Write is on the last Wednesday of the month at Corner Club café on Leigh Broadway. 5.30-8pm. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/iliketowritelos/


Note: If comment section is not showing please log in to Facebook in another browser tab and refresh.