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We are here to write

I was having a bad day, not long after Covid took over the world. At the time, it seemed there were more of these types of day for me, so the We are Here to Write group turned up at just the right time.

I, like so many others, was having to juggle working from home with boredom, homeschooling, technological disasters and incompetencies as well the never-ending inertia and the constant procrastination exacerbated by lockdowns, plus the soul-destroying extra cleaning from my children being home all day and creating endless paper and clay crafts.

My wanderlust was also suffering, it was being starved of its usual fixing of some delicious escape from UK weather, mostly to see my parents and siblings - who are scattered over three continents. We used to see each other 5-7 times a year, mainly because even 20 years after living in the UK, I had never fully felt accepted into the fold.

The time in lockdown also gave me more thinking space, and I see my journal has many notes of racial ignorance that I had been experiencing from practically everywhere, from Sainsbury’s to the school run - or perhaps I had only been noticing more because I suddenly had all this time.

When a friend emailed that there was a group starting with helpful tips and coaching for writers of colour, it felt like a beacon in what felt like quite a dreary situation. I absolutely loved the sessions, and I loved the people. I had no idea so many creative people were so accessible, so close to me and with some very similar experiences.

I have made some lovely friends from the group, which has brightened my outlook somewhat! But, mostly, I have learned so much. I love that this group of people wants to challenge the traditions of theatrical writing, increase accessibility and allow people from every sphere living in the South West to be seen.

Because of the sessions, I have felt able to write creatively, something as a journalist I never thought I would do, even though I have always wanted to release my creativity. I have acted in a scratch night and submitted my work to a production house - huge steps for me. I have also felt comforted by the sessions when writers have stressed we didn’t need to confine ourselves to traditional methods of writing - whether western or patriarchal. This is rather liberating!

This is probably what I love best about these sessions - I now feel seen and I feel heard and it is like coming home.

- Feyaza Khan

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