writing

writing notebooks

Never too old to begin writing career

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Josephine Corcoran

Read this and share it with anyone who thinks they’ve left it too late to be a published writer.  It’s not!  Never!  Write what is in you to write.

Click on link below to read an entire article by Josephine Corcoran, bursting with stories of writers who began a serious career later, mostly in their 50s – and who are still writing and developing further as writers, today.  There’s a sense of beginning, not ending.

via My started late, stop-start writing “career”

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Simon Armitage, videopoem, video, poem, travel, poetry

Making poetry from the ordinary: Travel

Proof positive that when you’re writing a powerful poem, its shape can be something as simple as a twist on an everyday voice/situation, or the banal pauses between events. And yes, it can include humour.  And it can be great in a video.

(Video by Faber & Faber to illustrate poem “Thank you for Waiting)

Creative Takeaway Prompt

Do you have a very ordinary, boring situation/conversation/speech which you hear everyday?  Take that form and write it so that you make it talk about something else, something you feel passionately about.  Increase the strength of your words at the end to the extreme.  (As Simon Armitage does, in this video).

Advanced – time how long you think it will take you to read your poem, allowing an extra 5-10 seconds. Have a friend video you on a mobile phone in that banal situation, then do a voiceover of yourself reading the poem.  Finally, have the courage to put it on Youtube and publicise it in social media (this could be as simple as your personal Facebook page or Twitter.)

More video work – look at your written poems so far – is there one whose atmosphere could be videoed in a setting which reinforces the message?

Simon Armitage, poetry, writing, inspiration, tips

Getting Started Writing Poetry as a Career – Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage, a living writing poet, talks about his writing in 2010, and gives practical tips for writing poetry.

“I’ve always been interested in poetry because it’s so powerful: so few words, space on the page, and all around it.  So there’s an intensity there that I admire.”

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The art of writing about art – a cure for writer’s block

This weekend past, I was shown a beautiful and enjoyable way to start new writing – with a beneficial side effect of getting rid of writer’s block: begin by responding to a picture. The technical term for this is Ekphrasis – see previous blog post a year ago, here.  And for me, it is hugely enjoyable, and a promising way forward.

This weekend’s workshop was called “Hidden Gems Open Masterclass: Ekphrasis: the art of writing about art”, held in City Art Centre, Edinburgh and tutored by Kate Hastie.  We met to receive some practical guidelines on Ekphrasis – and then simply took the lift down, to select an artwork in the new exhibition in the basement, “Hidden Gems”, and write poem or prose lines about it.

“Every painting is a library of information”  – Kate Hastie

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poetry

1 Nov, Day 1 of Poetry challenge

Can you write a poem, today on the topic “NEW DAY“.  This is day one of the PAD (Poem a Day) challenge for November.

If you’re taking part, interpret that how you will, and write a poem.

(If absolutely uninspired by this given topic – I know I’m finding it a bit obvious, cliched and bland – then do an experimental dip into Poetry Foundation online – lots of poets and poems to find out about – they also publish the American Poetry Magazine (front covers of it are featured image above this post).  Dip and dive through the website till you find something interesting or pick something totally at random and see if it can be melded to the topic of New Day – and that’s you at the startline.)

If you still come up with banalities and no inspiration – how about working them into a form of poetry which you haven’t tried before?  Then at least you’ll be learning and experimenting.

Robert Lee Brewster, setter of the Word Digest challenge – write a poem a day in November – has written his own example on that theme.

Robert Lee Brewster’s New Day Poem:

“& suddenly”

i had no desire for sugar
or processed foods or
anything else that might
taste good but tries to kill me

& i went for a run & lifted
weights & even sit ups
were not impossible & i
thought this is amazing

that i’m becoming this
version of myself that i
always thought i could be
until around midnight

when i gave in & had a snack
that turned into a meal that
transformed into a slide
that i hope someday will end

*****

 

Video Diary: NaNoWriMo

So National Novel Writing Month is nearly here.  What’s it like to work through the goal of writing 50,000 words of your novel in November? Kristina Horner shows us her 8th year’s experience of the programme – in only 7 minutes.

This video is a kaleidoscope of emotions in the life of a young person. I doubt if George Eliot had a similar writing process.  I am sure Virginia Woolf would have been horrified at the idea of 123,000 people viewing you in the process of writing.  But after all, this is a reflection on how the world of communication – written and verbal – is so entirely different now to classical ways of writing.

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