Do you know those people who spend their lives claiming they want to write because it makes them feel well, it’s their dream, because they would like to narrate stories, because everybody tells them they’re good at it but they’ve never really tried that hard?
… or they have tried but now feel stuck due to their work, the too many things to do, their kids and pets, their laziness or the fact they live in the middle of nowhere?
Those people to whom attending a writing course is like paying for a gym membership and then never using it?
Those are lazy writers – with eternally potential dreams.
The “Gssp – Gruppo di supporto agli scrittori pigri”, Support group for lazy writers is dedicated to them: it is a writing laboratory for those who lack the necessary determination to train their writing skills.
Barbara Fiorio, the exact personification of the lazy writer, as she defines herself, is the founder of the laboratory and today will tell us something more about it. This is her interview.
- Barbara, could you please tell us a little more in detail how your laboratory works?
Of course. The Gssp is an online writing course consisting of 4 months of practice.
The aim of these four months is improving writing styles, techniques and regularity.
There aren’t any fixed times or days to follow the laboratory and every participant can join from wherever they are. However, it is important to meet weekly and monthly deadlines for writing assignments and to write them in Italian.
- Does this mean a foreigner cannot join the course?
Being an Italian mother tongue speaker is an essential requirement.
Using foreign words of any kind is forbidden.
- Could planning the writing through weekly assignments affect negatively spontaneity and inspiration?
I don’t know any writer who believes spontaneity and inspiration are enough in this domain. Writing is like a muscle, if you have an extraordinary talent but you don’t practise to acquire the proper techniques, it will atrophy and all you will be left with is a great potential.
- Which kind of people do generally join the course?
It is a very heterogeneous group – aspiring journalists, housewives, bank employees, artists, engineers, graphic designers, IT specialists and financial consultants, with an age range going from 25 to 57. All these different life styles have become a precious source of inspiration and growth.
- What is your method to face laziness?
I still have to figure it out. That’s why I’m holding the Gssp, support group for lazy writers, again this year.
- Could this laziness be interpreted as the fear of a negative self-evaluation?
Thinking that “sooner or later” we’ll do something can be a lot more reassuring than starting a possibly negative self-evaluation.
There are those who think they might want to be writers, but it is not really a dream they care about. I like to remind myself there’s a huge difference between wanting something and craving it. It is incredibly easy to mistake what we wouldn’t mind for what we really want. It is the same difference existing between actually saving money to go back to a place we love, and simply making a wish that one day we will be back.
So, you may be lazy, but don’t go looking for alibis.
- Some pieces of advice to rising writers?
Never overestimate yourselves. If what you write needs to be explained, than you’d better rewrite it. Maybe the problem is not others’ understanding of your writing, but your lack of clarity.
Barbara Fiorio is an Italian writer. She is 47 years old and lives in Genoa.
Before devoting herself to writing, she had been working in theatre promotion for a decade. Among her most recent works, Buona Fortuna (Mondadori, 2013) and Qualcosa di vero (Feltrinelli 2015).