I work and teach in the practice school of writing. This means that rather than studying technique and trying to apply it, as we mostly learn to do in mainstream education, we start from just doing it and allowing our own unique style to develop through practice.
Obviously, this approach depends upon doing lots of writing and, as no-one keeps going for long with things they don’t enjoy, the first rule of writing is enjoyment.
If you can’t enjoy it, it’s better to take a step back and wait until the mood or the ideas or the psychological space for writing comes back.
Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy ~ Khalil Gibran, ‘The Prophet’
The paradoxical effect of this approach is that being prepared to wait means you never have to. When the impulse is pleasure, work is alligned with instinct, and you are flowing with life.
This is not to say you don’t have to work at your writing, but only that as long as you’re writing things which fully engage you, it’s work you want to do and therefore, however hard it may sometimes be, it never feels like a chore.
And what is it to work with love? It is to weave a cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth ~ Khalil Gibran, ‘The Prophet’
You may have noticed that although I normally blog every Wednesday, I’ve skipped a few weeks since Christmas. This is because I’ve been immersed in my work-in-progress and would have resented spending time on other writing.
I didn’t want to short-change myself, or you, or the spirit of writing by publishing something which felt like homework. So I took a break last week and the usual thing happened – lots of new ideas came into my head which are engaging enough for me to want to set aside other writing for an hour or so and explore them in the House of Dreams.
Here’s an interesting post from the Stroppy Author (great blog) about not publishing any old thing http://stroppyauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/dont-publish-crap.html?showComment=1362832266092
And here’s another one from Abi Burlingham, on her decision to let go of having a regular blogging day http://abiburlingham.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/26th-october-2012/
And here is a beautiful contemplation on the important things, in life and in writing, from my very good friend, Liz Kessler http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/remembering-what-counts-liz-kessler.html
Blogging is writing-work I thoroughly enjoy because, unlike most of what I do, it finds its readers straight away, and they can give instant feedback.
So, dear reader, thank you for visiting, following and commenting 🙂