All posts tagged: writer

The Artist’s Way

I’ve always known that I loved to write. From the moment, I could spell a few words, I wrote and drew stories. I loved it – and I still do. Writing makes my heart sing. I have recently worked with Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way, which – if you don’t already know it – is a 12-week course in living with a greater sense of creativity. There is a short chapter to each week with a given focus and a number of exercises. Some of them, I have loved like delicate poetry and others, I slung cusswords at like a drunken sailor. However, I have learned a little something – or remembered a little something from each of them. The Artist’s Way is exhilarating in a way which defies description. It is like meeting the love of your life for the second time – you know, after you let him slip away the first time. The Artist’s Way is by no means an easy path. I have laughed, cried, and raged on my path …

Contemplating NaNoWriMo 2016

Are you doing it this year? NaNoWriMo, I mean? If there is anyone among us who doesn’t know by now, I’m talking of National Novel Writing Month. It’s November by the way and almost at our doorstep. First of all, let’s hear it for the People at NaNoWriMo.org. They deserve the capitalization. They are smart, witty, and inspiring while coordinating thousands and thousands of volunteers and participants around the world. You’ll love the NaNoWriMo community. I have participated in other writing fora, but none of them reach NaNoWriMo’s ankles. There are actually pep talks worth reading and they actually leave you feel pepped. The statistics and motivational badges are addicting as is the acceptance that as long as you are putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard), you are doing something right. Then there’s the writing part. Yup, you still need to sit down and pound the keyboard, croaking out word after word. The result may or may not be a finished story – or the much coveted novel – but simply working …

Joseph Brodsky

I studied Russian for a single year and I love the way the syllables round over the tongue. Take Brodsky’s full name for example: Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky. It tastes good. Brodsky defined himself as Jewish, a Russian poet, an English essayist, and an American citizen. Born in 1940 in Leningrad, Brodsky grew up in Soviet society with extreme poverty and totalitarianism. Brodsky began to write poetry early on, publishing in underground journals. He never really stuck with an appropriate career path. The Soviet government charged him with “social parasitism” in 1964, because he didn’t support the motherland. Brodsky’s poetry circulated in the West, and in his detention in 1964, he also became a symbol of artistic resistance. In 1972, he was strongly advised to emigrate. Brodsky wanted to stay in Russia, but was eventually “evicted” and flown to Austria. From there, he travelled to USA, where he found his future base, writing and lecturing at a number of prominent universities. Brodsky was award the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987. Brodsky died of a heart …

Judy Blume

I don’t know Judy Blume! I write that with some incredibility in every keystroke, because Judy’s books have sold over 80 million copies in 30 some languages. That is truly amazing! Judy Blume was born in 1938 in Elizabeth, New Jersey and dreamed on a life where she wasn’t a dentist like her father nor a homemaker like her mother, but she never dreamed of becoming a writer. She always had a lively imagination, but it wasn’t until she had children of her own, that she began to put pen to paper. A plethora of children’s and young adult novels followed (and three adult novels). Judy has an amazing website, which I highly recommend. It is full of interesting information about Judy’s books, about writing, and about anticensorship. (Hurray!) Here is for example what Judy says about rewriting: [T]o me, rewriting is the most exciting part of the process. When I’m rewriting, I feel most creative. I’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle and now I get to put them together. I go through …

Joyce Carol Oates

She was born in 1938 and she is the author of more than 50 novels and numerous short stories, essays, and whatnot. Joyce Carol Oates is astonishing. Award-winning, but that goes without saying, but something I find interesting is, that she has a distance from her work, saying that she has thrown entire novels out “cheerfully”. “Find interesting” is an understatement; my jaw dropped! Here I am at age 36, beaming because I’ve written 50.000 words, one after the other, but not so that the words are anything together – yet, and Joyce Carol Oates writes novels day in and day out and even writes some that she chooses not to publish. Amazing! Need I mention, that Joyce Carol Oates was 26 years old, when she published her first novel? In my own quiet mind, I find that Joyce Carol Oates is a literary unicorn. She is so close to a mythical being, and yet I know she exists. (I’ll save the unicorn existence to a later date, but one word: narwhal.) I tip my …

NaNoWriMo

In my circle of friends and among my colleagues, nobody knows what NaNoWriMo is, not even when I tell them that it is National Novel Writing Month. A few answered with a disinterested, ‘Huh?’ They probably think that it is the same kind of thing as National Carrot Cake Day (2/3), International Kissing Day (7/6) or National Bologna Day (10/24), but it’s not! NaNoWriMo is in a whole other league! In addition, it’s an entire month. Really, I have no right to feel so strongly about NaNoWriMo. I only discovered it last year and only achieved a word count of around 4,600 words. Not exactly impressive. I am however starting over this year. I have a brand new idea – or rather, I don’t have an idea, I just starting writing, but I like where it is going so far. It’s Day 1 and I have 1700 words. To my fellow NaNoWriMo writers: Believe! Not only can we rack up the word count, we can also write something outstanding and original.

Thoughts on creativity on a Sunday afternoon

I am taking a moment for myself, sitting with my computer at the dining room table. The washing machine is purring in the background and my four-year-old son and his many, many toys are all over the floor, but I don’t care. My father is trailing behind my son and their discussions of hoisting stuff with a toy crane and playing cops and robbers Lego-style fills the family room. Add coffee and…. Yes, this is a blissful Sunday. Luckily, it’s raining outside, so any thoughts of what I should be doing in the garden are superfluous. Instead, I sit here in the single mother’s version of alone and get to write. The ding, ding, ding of the washing machine, but then I get to write. J I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity as of late. Creativity can take so many forms, but in my opinion, it has telltale signs: a flutter inside, followed by an inner peace and a sense of rejuvenation. The sensations of creativity are addictive, and yet the discipline to sit …