It is about the writing act, not the writing product. Most of our writing in school and in the publishing life is about product. We teach our students the so-called writing process—draft, revise, polish, edit—and when that is done, they have supposedly learned to write. What they have learned is one way to write. There is an entire world of writers—and enjoyment in writing—that this process does not tap into.
By: Richard Louth
Date: May 25, 2010
Summary: This in-depth guide—drawn from the book "I’m a Writer": Essays on the Writing Marathon and Why We Write—covers just about everything needed to organize and run a successful writing marathon.
“Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.”
Just kidding. But I will shutting this page down in a week or two. I hope all of you will follow me at my new and improved page:
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
Bloom is for writers and artists of all ages and stages, for anyone who believes that the artistic journey is, and should be, as particular and unique as each one of us; that there is no prescribed beeline to literary achievement.
Your audience is smarter than you imagine. Don’t be afraid to experiment with story forms and time shifts. My personal theory is that younger readers disdain most books - not because those readers are dumber than past readers, but because today’s reader is smarter. Movies have made us very sophisticated about storytelling. And your audience is much harder to shock than you can ever imagine.
I do not have a road map or a neat system to give you to help you find the luminosity in your poems—your art, but I would like to share how it has been for me. At the start, let us agree that the poet must master the elements of his craft: the rhythm, the strategies, the importance of compression, when to use rhyme and when not to use it—all of that…
A man stood upon a railroad bridge in northern Alabama, looking down into the swift water twenty feet below. The man’s hands were behind his back, the wrists bound with a cord. A rope closely encircled his neck. It was attached to a stout cross-timber above his head and the slack fell to the level of his knees. Some loose boards laid upon the sleepers supporting the metals of the railway supplied a footing for him and his executioners—two private soldiers of the Federal army, directed by a sergeant who in civil life may have been a deputy sheriff. At a short remove upon the same temporary platform was an officer in the uniform of his rank, armed. He was a captain. A sentinel at each end of the bridge stood with his rifle in the position known as “support,” that is to say, vertical in front of the left shoulder, the hammer resting on the forearm thrown straight across the chest—a formal and unnatural position, enforcing an erect carriage of the body. It did not appear to be the duty of these two men to know what was occurring at the center of the bridge; they merely blockaded the two ends of the foot planking that traversed it.
Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
The hangman plays the mandolin before he goes to sleep
David Bowie, The Wild Eyed Boy from Free Cloud
Substitute damn every time you’re inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.
Dream, ghost, mirror, lake, love, sex, death and dada. In that order.
It’s not a good idea to interrupt the narrative too often, since storytelling works by lulling the reader or listener into a dreamlike state, in which time and space of the real world fade away.
J.M. Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello
Barn, horse, sky, rain, mud, flood and moon.
prompt: name, number, look, hear, up, evening, welcome
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