Writing on, and about, an island

Posts Tagged ‘Brain Pickings’

Monday Morning Inspiration (“Why writers write”)

In Writing on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

I love this Brain Pickings post on George Orwell’s philosophy for why writers are compelled to write. According to GO (one of my favourite writers), it comes down to:

  1. Sheer egoism
  2. Aesthetic enthusiasm
  3. Historical impulse
  4. Political purpose

This is in stark contrast to today’s writing culture, where we have writers who say that their only motivation is to write for their readers.

I say bollocks to this falsely modest reasoning – I think writers inherently write for themselves and are pushing their own agenda, whatever that may be.

And writers should not feel pressured to be PC about why they write. It dumbs the process and the craft and the result down. How many artists do you know who say they create their art just for the viewer?

30 hours; 30,000 words…

In Books, Tasmania, Writing on May 30, 2012 at 9:30 am

This weekend, I’ve committed to locking myself away with a bunch of other Tasmanian writers, and will attempt to write 30,000 words in a marathon 30 hours.

The weekend is hosted by Tasmania’s literary magazine, Island (and Islet: a free online journal of micro works from emerging writers and visual artists, an initiative of Island magazine)… The epic write-fest is connected to the Emerging Writers’ Festival.

Here’s the lowdown:

“We start the weekend at 6pm on Friday June the 1st at the Meeting Room at the Salamanca Arts Centre and that is where we will be spending our writing weekend.
 
Island will supply you with a shared, yet dedicated writing space and some inspiring books. We will have some tea and coffee and cakes and we are working on a special (proper) coffee deal for you. You will have access to the entire range of Salamanca eateries and drinkeries to keep you fuelled for the weekend.You will need to bring sharpened minds and laptops or other writing devices. We’ll have intermittent internet access – bring yer dongles if you’d like.
 
The poets amongst you have asked about spending their time with poems, the novelists, the critics, the essayists amongst us have queried aspects that relate particularly to their practice of writing. The goal is to spend the weekend writing – and writing 30,000 words each. It is achievable – and it is going to be fun.”

And here’s what we’ve been given as inspiration – 9 Books on Reading and Writing – thanks to BrainPickings.

The weekend is going to be very challenging. But I’m going to use the 30 solid hours to write extra for my crime novel. I’m not necessarily convinced it needs the extra words, but I’m pretty excited about having a clear (child-free) run at the opportunity…

I’ll let you know how I go.

Monday Morning Inspiration for Creatives #4

In Books, Crime & Mystery Writer, Writing on April 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

Again, from Brain Pickings – a little bit of John Cleese genius, on the fact that:

Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.

This has become increasingly obvious to me over the years. I may have been told I had writing talent when I was six years old, but resting on the laurels of that talent doesn’t work once you’re a grown-up – you’ve got to put your creativity into operation every day.

That’s why I feel I’ve reached a personal milestone in finally getting my author site up, and committing to the publishing of my debut crime novel, Undercurrent – something that has strangely little to do with writing talent.

I’m kind of approaching it like this (another Cleese-ism)…

… which is handy, because I’m filled with doubts about what I’ve written (I swing wildly between being either impressed by what I’ve written, or too embarrassed to show it to anyone). But, I can’t dwell on that – I’ve just got to remain focused and trust myself and my writing.

And I don’t really have time to dwell on the correctness or talent (or lack thereof) of my writing. There is simply too much going on – when you self-publish, you’re not just polishing the book, but also dealing with marketing, web design stuff, and all the other ‘non-writing’ things that go with being a writer.

Which leads to…

Now that I’ve launched my site with the Undercurrent Prologue, I’m aiming to have the complete novel ready for sale in about 30 days. To do that, I need some seriously focused time and space.

And this is why Cleese’s “5 factors that you can arrange to make your lives more creative” is particularly pertinent right now. I’ve organised the first 3 (with some time off work) – the other 2, I’m working on…

Monday Morning Inspiration for Creatives #3

In Books, Career, Crime & Mystery Writer, Island Life, Tasmania, Writing on April 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

It’s 10.45am on Easter Monday, and I’m sitting in the living-room of my Tasmanian house – with the wood-fire going already… Autumn has hit suddenly. Fortunately, autumn was made for Tasmania. Cold, sunny days; red-golden poplars; excellent local apples…

Anyway, this Brian Pickings post on short stories was well-timed – particularly because I’ve started working on a bunch of very short stories for a new online writing project I’m really excited about.

I particularly like tip number 5:

Start as close to the end as possible.

Full-length novels are hard to write (you’ve got to be built for stamina). Short stories are equally hard, but for different reasons (you’ve got to be built for speed).

PS: Speaking of stamina and speed, I’m putting the final touches on my author site to be ready for the launch next weekend (15 April).

Monday Morning Inspiration for Creatives

In Career, Writing on March 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

How to find your purpose and do what you love? This Brain Pickings post has some pointers… Not least, of course, the Holstee Manifesto.

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