Posts Tagged writing
Wouldn’t it be something to be recognised as a poet?
I mean, not just to be a poet – many of us write poetry, and are already poets.
But to actually be recognised for it!
To have people read your pieces and like them enough to want to share them, by giving them an award, or publishing them in a book…
Now that would be something!
Links of interest:
Obviously this is not an ideal situation for an academic to find themselves in.
However, I suspect it might be true.
I think it was my PhD thesis that killed it for me…I think…I don’t like writing.
I tried to rejoin my Daily Writing Group but this time it didn’t help. I did co-write an Editorial for a journal = big success story! (Editing other people’s writing was much easier than writing my own work.)
Luckily it is teaching time now, less expectation to write. Brief, brief reprieve.
Definitely time to make good friends with my blog again. I like it here best. And people tell me they read it! (I hope people will be glad to know that they are not the only ones who don’t like writing.)
Other things I have been doing instead of writing:
- reading fiction
- organising multiple conference papers
- answering emails
- playing MW3
All worthy occupations!
Maybe I’m just in thesis ‘recovery’. I mean, surely.
Just have to find the right motivation…
I’m just choosing some quotes about the writing process to put into an English course book chapter on identity and storytelling. Some corkers out there! Here are a few that struck a chord with me, but which I suspect are a bit too terrifying to introduce to 7th graders 😉
- Writing is turning one’s worst moments into money. (J. P. Donleavy)
- As for me, this is my story: I worked and was tortured. You know what it means to compose? No, thank God, you do not! I believe you have never written to order, by the yard, and have never experienced that hellish torture. (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
- I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. (Douglas Adams)
- Remarks are not literature. (Gertrude Stein)
- The misuse of language induces evil in the soul. (Socrates)
- There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write. (Terry Pratchett)
- Any magazine-cover hack can splash paint around wildly and call it a nightmare, or a witches sabbath or a portrait of the devil; but only a great painter can make such a thing really scare or ring true. That’s because only a real artist knows the anatomy of the terrible, or the physiology of fear. (H. P. Lovecraft)
- You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair – the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page. (Stephen King)
- Poetry is not a career, but a mug’s game. No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written, he may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing. (T.S. Eliot)
So: ‘torture’, ‘evil’, ‘hack’, ‘nervousness’…’a mug’s game’. Yep, that seems about right!
I found this excellent quote to describe the different processes of speaking and writing, and the importance of engaging in talk. Check it out:
Since talking, listening, and reading are all easier than writing, you should use them to prepare for writing. It is much harder to decide how to say something before you have said it. And it is definitely harder to decide how to say something in writing that you have never said in conversation. Talk to people about what you believe. Test your ideas in the faster, less permanent medium of speech before you try to set them down in the slower, more permanent medium of writing. Read all you can about what you want to write about, and then talk to someone about it. Remember that you will have no chance to see how people react when you are writing to them, but you do have a chance to see how they react when you are talking to them.
The full article Thinking About Writing is at http://daphne.palomar.edu/jtagg/thinkwrite.htm
This kind of explanation could be really valuable for teachers and students to discuss. It is also a great reminder about the importance of structuring class work that gives everyone an opportunity to talk meaningfully, and with purpose.