Monday, April 21, 2008

Notebook Idea: Why do we write?

Here are three things I’ve thought about:

As a celebration: of the diversity and perversity of the world, of the choices we make, of the people we meet, the things we do.

As a form of prayer:
a meditation, or a single-mindedness, a focused activity that is often done during consecrated time, time that has been devoted to the task, time that will not be shared with any other activity.

To inquire and question: Flannery O’Connor said, I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.

Open your notebook and start writing: I write because… Be spontaneous, honest, allow yourselves to be vulnerable, and not worry what other people might think, or what you imagine they might think. Try and be honest with the page. Keep writing, don’t stop to think. If you feel stuck, start again I write because… Write for 20 minutes.

I was introduced to this exercise by Tony Weeks-Pearson, a writer and tutor at Maidstone Adult Education in the early 1990s. It was Tony’s passion for writing – the process, the craft and the work of other writers – that set me off on my own writing path. A truly inspirational man.

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