When I was 18, I waitressed for a catering company, and spent most weekends pouring champagne
at swanky parties. One party, overlooking Sydney harbour, was a glamorous event attended by
beautiful people of the kind I’d only ever seen on screen. At the end of the night, as the catering
staff cleared the glasses, I found myself chatting with the host, a well-known screenwriter and
What I mean by “I found myself chatting with him” is “I waited until he was in the vicinity and then
It was late. The guests had all left, and I assume that this man simply wanted the catering staff to
leave so that he could go to bed. If it were my party, that’s what I would have wanted. So when I
earnestly told him that I wanted to be a writer and asked what I should do, he replied fairly curtly.
“Write.” He said. “That’s what writers do.”
The heart of the Immersion program is that daily twenty minutes or so, the prompts that I hope are
training you back to an ease in writing. That practice of free, generative writing is the one that will
continue to allow you to get close to your creative instincts. Write. It’s what writers do.
Consider today what kinds of processes have worked for you over these last weeks. Which
reflections and strategies had you unlocking words or images or plans? What writing prompts
sparked for you? What conditions and exercises got you writing? What will keep you writing?
Clarifying which processes spark you into writing will help maintain your depth over the coming
When you can, could you look again at your writing from the program, and ask yourself not just
where the connections are – but where the gaps are? When you read over some of your words, are
there implied ‘missing moments’? In that page or two that you wrote about a woman who walked
through a white doorway, is there a question about her ex-husband? Or that day you wrote about a
child exploring a new city alone – is there a line that suggests the home she ran away from?
Over the next weeks, as you continue writing, return to these pages and fill in the gaps. Write the
meeting with the ex-husband, the description of the home, the first day alone in the city.
Know that at the end of the program, you can return to Week One, Day One and begin the process
all over again, finding new threads in your writing. Like rubbing condensation off a window, each
time you come back to it, you will become clearer on the story you want to tell.
Someone has woken in the night