As I wander around in cyberspace, dropping in on websites and blogs about creative writing, I often see freewriting recommended as a sort of emergency treatment for writers who are stuck, stale or blocked. I absolutely agree that freewriting is very effective for blasting through apathy, doubt and pedestrian thinking, but my approach, like the […]
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Entries by kathyhopewell
This post is about stories in films and books, and in life. The stories we consume are very often structured in an artificial way, but we’ve become so used to the shape of stories in Hollywood films such as rom-coms and the superhero franchises that sometimes it’s possible to forget that life just isn’t like […]
This New Year, instead of making all the usual resolutions to eat less and exercise more, why not resolve to be bad and have fun writing instead? Writing need not be serious, and the things we do for pleasure are ones we do the most (box sets, anyone?) There’s no need to treat writing as […]
I am a huge fan of Austin Kleon. His advice to artists is to “show your work” or, in other words, to share the creative process in order to invite input, garner interest and de-mystify the labour involved. In this spirit I thought I would share some writing with you which is still in development. […]
If a historical novel is defined as one in which events from history are presented as they actually happened, then my unpublished novel Swimming with Tigers doesn’t qualify as one. The alterations I have made to the facts about the artists who took part in the Surrealist movement would make a historian weep! Sometimes I’m […]
Since 2006 I have been collecting quotes about writing in a pink suede notebook. Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order. I hope they inspire, entertain or delight you. “Description is the poet’s act of love.” W. P. Ker “Haste is the enemy of art. Art in its making and its […]
It’s my belief that anyone can benefit from freewriting. A marketing guru once told me that claiming something would work for everyone would weaken my brand and I had much better target a specific audience. But I really do think freewriting is potentially for everybody. Below are six uses for freewriting showing how the technique […]
Liverpool Tate’s summer exhibition is called Life in Motion and places paintings by Egon Schiele next to photographs by Francesca Woodman. Schiele was Austrian, working before World War One and Woodman was American, producing her photographs in the 1970s. Arguably the only thing that links them, apart from the predominance of self-portraits in their work, […]
I’m guessing it’s happened to you: you are re-reading a book and a crucial scene, the one you remembered most clearly of all, doesn’t actually occur in the story at all. For me, this happened with Angela Carter’s short story “The Company of Wolves” (in her collection The Bloody Chamber), and it set off a […]
Natalie Goldberg, one of the greatest writers on freewriting, began as a student of Zen Buddhism. It involved long hours of sitting meditation, disciplined timekeeping and mundane tasks, all in the spartan environment of the zendo (meditation centre). At the same time, she was beginning to write poetry, inspired by the idea that her own […]
Most creative writing guidebooks recommend freewriting, but they don’t mention its origin in Freud’s theories and Surrealist practice. If freewriting is magic, then going back to the source might be where the magic is strongest.