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Posts Tagged ‘writing tools’

I am getting ready to disappear off on holiday soon.  I need to decide what writing paraphernalia to take with me; notebook and pen, obviously, but it’s the rest I have to consider!

On holiday, I tend to write a journal, recording the days, the sights, the conversations.  It feels right to be absorbed in the place.  This is what separates a retreat from a holiday in my head.

But when I am just lazily sitting in the sun it’s really good to try a few writing exercises, because a different environment leads to a very different perception.  When the world around you has changed, it’s inevitable that your impression of things will change too.

So a book of exercises, certainly.  A journal to write in, and a notebook to carry about.  Pens.

More than those practical things though, I need to take an open mind, a sense of adventure, and a willingness to meet people and get involved – that way even if I don’t write, I will be filling the research banks in my head!

I might not be about on Sunday, and I definitely won’t be here next week, but I will dig out some inspiration posts for you to enjoy in my absence.

Have a great week or so, and I have no doubt I will be full of bright ideas when I get back…  Maybe not another trapeze course though!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

 

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I tried out my new writing place on Friday, and I think it’ll work well.

It’s good to be around other people, but not focussed on them, when I write.  It’s as though they feed my imagination – maybe it’s an offhand comment or a quirky smile or a laugh that reminds me of something; whatever it is changes my writing and the experience of writing.

It also takes me away from the norm, bringing new stimulus into my consciousness, which in turn helps shift around my ideas until the words slot together like a jigsaw puzzle.

I have written in all sorts of places, and it’s the mix that I need to get right…

So now I have a new place to write, I have moved on to a new poem. It’s currently called The Herald but that might change once it’s completed. I’ll worry about that when it’s done!  I want to get the first draft completed before I head off on holiday next week, so watch this space!

That’s all for today – I am still in the write/revise process albeit for a different piece, so it’s all searching for the right word and being irritated when I can’t find it!  Not much excitement yet, but just wait until I get that perfect word!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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It was writing group today and we decided to try a new venue.  Most of us live in very close proximity and with our new pub opening recently it seemed sensible to try it out for the group arrangement.

It worked really well, with a cosy corner to sit and chat, and during our visit we also discussed regular writing sessions (rather than discussions) and an open mike event.

When I raised them with the landlord he was very positive.

So from now on, I am going to work in the pub, quietly in a corner, at least one day a week.

Going somewhere and absorbing the atmosphere – whatever that happens to be – will enable me to access different thoughts or emotions, which I can then filter into poetry.

I am really excited about it and am starting tomorrow to see how it goes.  I might sit alone or with my writing friends, but either way I will be working to fill a space in my writing process, which is always good!

So roll on tomorrow, when I can get even more done!!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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With my visitors this last week, I have not thrown myself into a new book – but we have all been going for the non-fiction option.

It’s a long time since I did a history or science class, and I’ve never written a paper on disaster responses, but these were just some of the areas I was talking about with the people I had staying.

It’s reminded me that there is a whole lot of information out there that might give me a different approach to my work.

In fact one of the topics I was reading up on was a disaster I remember even though I was only about nine when it happened; the images were so memorable and I can still see the scene as though on a tv.

It’s given me an idea for a kind of memorial poem, a piece that never mentions the specific event but draws my memories together to make a new piece.

Which goes to show that even if I don’t read a book, a newspaper or a historical article might be a good substitute for learning something new.

And in this case, what I learnt was that we can be affected by something even if we weren’t personally involved – and even if we don’t think about it without encouragement.

Happy reading,

EJ

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Sorry this post is late, I lost track of the weekend because it’s a bank holiday today!

As the writing is much as it was last week I decided to talk about other news in the writing world today.

First off – apparently, e-book sales are falling and physical book sales are rising in the UK as we suffer from too much time spent on too many devices.  I have to acknowledge I have not read a book online for months now – although as I only ever downloaded freebies I didn’t help the sales figures much anyway!

Secondly, we readers are more attractive to potential partners!  Recent research shows that if reading is listed as a hobby on a dating website, there are more responses. Reading is a joy in its own right, but it’s interesting to think about the social and psychology benefits of it.  I often wonder why some people adore reading and some don’t even think about picking up a book, so that is the next answer I want to find!

Lastly, a few words of wisdom from JK Rowling helped me out this week.  Just keep writing, guys. Finish the book/play/poem/whatever you are producing.  Keep going.  Get to the end.  You might not get picked up, but you have a much better chance if you have a finished product!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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You may remember that a couple of weeks ago I started working on titles for poems, to get me going with a bit more focus.

I got a little sidetracked when one became more like a story plan, but it’s always a good exercise, with positive results.

Now I am working on the next phase; building up some draft poems to see which ones work, which ones I like, and which ones I want to take further.

There’s a degree of order in my process this time because of my desire to write about the world as it is now – and the last few weeks have given me more material than I want, frankly! – but I want to keep as open a mind as possible because writing often takes you in unexpected directions.

It’s important to let it too; in this set of work I want to take unexpected routes.  If I can surprise myself, maybe I will surprise my audience too.

I also want to challenge myself with this work. Last time I wrote a particularly politically-inspired poem it didn’t feel finished or complete enough when I first performed it.  I believe that was because it didn’t quite say what I intended.  This time around I need to eliminate that sense of incompleteness because all it does is saps my confidence.

So I am spending my writing energy from now until at least my holiday in May on getting these poems as good as I can, or at least beyond the first draft status!  From then onwards, let’s see what my audience think…

I will share a few of the unused titles over the next couple of weeks: they might not get my writing going but perhaps they will work for one of you 🙂

Happy writing,

EJ

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Firstly, apologies for another short post; it’s been a long day and I have no idea where the last hour of it went!

This week I have been thinking about titles.  In all sorts of ways, actually, but keeping to the writing point, I focussed on how a title builds a poem.

When I did my second writing course way back in 2010-11, there was an exercise where we had to write a poem based on a given title.  I have shared the poem that came from it before but if you’re interested let me know and I’ll post it again.

I loved that exercise, because it relied on something sparking in me, and led to me creating my own list of possible titles. ‘Stone Dragon’, the poem about my Grandfather, was born from that list.

I am struggling now with the poem inspired by the sofa cushions and thought this ‘pick a title’ approach might help.  I won’t post the options but I will admit some make me want to go in a completely different direction.

Maybe I should let them: writing to demand is hard enough, writing to a particular theme on demand is worse.

Still, a working title to build from might be helpful if only to focus my attention on something specific.  I need to really get to grips with this project before another year is over…

If you have any fun ideas or useful words for me, feel free to post them; I need all the help I can get!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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