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.
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Category Archives: writing inspiration
If a historical novel is defined as one in which events from history are presented as they actually happened, then my unpublished novel Swimming with Tigers doesn’t qualify as one.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 … Continue reading
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.” … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
Some artists have an utterly distinctive voice. Within a second of hearing one twisted, mournful note, I can recognise the great Johnny Marr of The Smiths. In the same way, the weirdly uncomfortable but perfect half-beat-off of Emily Dickinson’s poetry … Continue reading
New Year is the time for dieting but what is the best way to feed the creative mind? A diet of high-energy, fast entertainment and hectic socialising is all very well for a short time and a change is as … Continue reading
I’ve been trying to work out if what I know about yoga, which I’ve practiced on and off since childhood, can help me with freewriting because these two activities seem to be very similar in their aims. The aim of … Continue reading
One of my favourite books about writing is Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. It’s full of cheering jokes and really useful advice from a startlingly honest writer. One of the best chapters is about how an editor’s rejection of … Continue reading
I have a friend who runs a microbakery from home and this week I did a short course in sourdough baking with him. We made ten different types of bread: white, wholemeal, with black olives, with sunflower and sesame seeds, … Continue reading