An eclection of insights into the nature of writing and being a writer. 

Of abundant overflow

Of abundant overflow

What causes creativity to spring forth?  I like Seamus Heaney's idea that it is not so much reactive as a generous overflow from an abundant internal source.This then is truly creative writing.  It does arise from the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, but the...

No post and plenty of censorship

No post and plenty of censorship

We don't know how lucky we are, having access to many forms of communication, electronic or postal, and being free of censorship.  Here Stefan Zweig describes the conditions in which he had to write The World of Yesterday, a moving, lucid account of his world and its...

Let the colour dry

Let the colour dry

An insight into technique by a superb poet, using a wonderful metaphor.  Time fixes colours, in words as in paints, and you should let your work dry before you alter it. And decisions?  Might the same principle apply?Poems, like water-colours, should be left to dry...

Life and Fate – documentary

Life and Fate – documentary

Stumbled across an excellent documentary by Priscilla Pizzato, Life and Fate by Vasili Grossman (in French, with English subtitles) on the European channel Arte.tv.  If you haven't yet read the book, this could be the trigger.Sorry to say this was only available...

All good publishers have a department of exceptions.

Gabriel Zaid – So Many Books

Poetry as a boat

Another maritime metaphor in Heaney's introduction to a poem set in a sea-world.  The ‘big quay’ of language and literature can...

Power implied

Something whistlingly clean about this; good writing hitting its target with speed and precision, and a latent force behind every...

Roiling poetry

Written by a poet, this suggests that poems aren't written, but rather roil and form of their own volition. Having...

Focus your light

Wise guidance for writers. I like the way George Eliot calls herself to order and her self-reminder to focus, focus,...

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