Writing rubbish 2: Discarded stories
There’s a persistent idea that some landscapes or objects are innately inspiring to writers and artists: big mountains, grand sunsets, sweeping beaches, usually the kind of surroundings most us don’t encounter in daily life. Getting excited about wild, romantic settings gives us permission to discount ordinary habitations, to take the care of our own daily environments less seriously than the rescue of ‘wilderness’ and to imagine that more time in beautiful places would make us better writers. This workshop turns those clichés inside out, asking you instead to pay serious attention to the smallest and meanest objects in the most ordinary surroundings.
Archaeologists often learn most about particular communities and households from the midden, the dump. What people throw away or lose tells you who they are.
Please bring at least one discarded object to the workshop. (If you forget, you’ll have no trouble finding something locally. Trash is everywhere.) It can be anything you like within the confines of common sense – nothing rotting or disease-bearing, please, and whatever you try to carry on a plane is your responsibility.