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A lesson in clichés from Celia Berggreen

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Hard-working new Chalk Circle member, Celia Berggreen, already has one novel under her belt and another on the go, but she doesn't like to take herself too seriously . . . We asked her to write about joining our group - so here she is in full flow, tongue stuck firmly in cheek.

I like to seize the moment. Carpe Diem – that could be my motto. When I saw the article in the local paper about The Chalk Circle Writers, I grasped the bull by the horns and asked if I could join. The early bird catches the worm, after all, and I’ve always been told I have a way with words. I joined in January: a lamb to the slaughter. I felt like the new kid on the block. Only time will tell, I guess, but up till now there’s been no slaughtering, as far as I can tell, more of an all for one, and one for all approach. Here are like-minded people who share the same hopes and ideas about writing. They know what it means to wait with bated breath for news from an agent or publisher. They understand that working to a deadline is sometimes the only way to get anything finished. And they know how important it is not to rest on one’s laurels. It would seem, reading between the lines, that practice makes perfect: we all need to write, and hone, and edit, again and again. In other words, for me personally, joining The Chalk Circle feels like the best thing since sliced bread. My only concern is that I read somewhere, once upon a time, that most writers try to avoid the use of clichés in their work, as doing so can betray a lack of original thought. I was a little taken aback, I don’t mind telling you, but I’ve never been one to cry over spilt milk. We all know life’s no bed of roses, but we do our best. I’ll try and break it to the others gently, at our next meeting. ‘Remember,’ I’ll say, ‘NO clichés!’ I sense already that this may be the calm before the storm, but I’m not worried. I’ve got my eye firmly fixed on that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

And it’s possible – I can’t imagine how – that some clichés have wormed their way into this particular piece of writing. Anyone care to count them? No prizes, I’m afraid!

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