Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Write, write, write, like the wind my friend...

trouble is the wind finds it very difficult to hold a pen.

Sarah Waters's recent article in the Guardian is proving very informative, and for a jobbing writer's tips, useful! Some writers like to perpetuate the myth that good writing is the product of some metaphysical and ineffable inspiration, when in fact it is largely down to hard work. '99% perspiration and 1% inspiration is the old adage I like to bore my kids with. And no doubt when I teach (if that day ever comes and I don't slope off into a cave with all my books before hand) it will be something I trot out to students to prove to them that good writing is the result of good effort, not drug or booze induced hallucinations - Coleridge aside of course!

Oh and a little anecdotal piece for you - Sarah Waters and I went to the same school, we were there at the same time, though she is a little bit older than me and I can't remember her AT ALL! 

That is what I think I like most about Rebecca West - her pragmatism. One of her most repeated quotes is the one which expresses how for her, writing is a means of earning a living and journalism is a profession akin to medicine. Another quote of her's I like is: 
Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and his audience. 

Whilst I was searching for West quotes ( which ironically I can never recall from memory even though I used them in my last chapter!) I came across this which I thought particularly apt:

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed.  If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes."  They will say, "Women don't have what it takes."  ~Clare Boothe Luce

I am going to c&p the waters article - for future reference just in case the link fails. It can be found on my 'Inspiration/Perspiration' page.  I will also add a link to a page I discovered again by accident, about the art of writing blogs... something I am sure I could use! 

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