Wednesday, 5 November 2008


I treated myself to a Chai Latte in Caffe Nero yesterday afternoon and pulled out my copy of "Writing With Power" which I bought early this Summer. Recently letting go of a BA course has allowed me space to start thinking of myself as a writer again and I am eagerly looking for opportunities to explore. I was struck by the author's reason for returning to writing again after a block:

"I didn't just want to get things written for my own pleasure; I didn't
just want to hand something in that would satisfy or even dazzle some examiner
or judge; I wanted lots of people to believe what I was saying, to change their
minds and, damn it, to change their behaviour."

Am I allowed to feel like that too?

I am not known as a shy, retiring, quiet person: I have my opinions and I make them known. But I am wary of causing offence, of getting into heated discussion or of haranguing people. I will soften my arguments, present my weakest points and get easily side-tracked, not deliberately, but in an attempt to keep a conversation light. While I have not suddenly found a desire to lose all my friends by mouthing off about controversial topics, reading this yesterday opened a door, just a crack, to what it might be like to write with passion and conviction, to develop a "so sue me" attitude, to trust the strength of my beliefs, to trust that readers can cope with, and maybe even relish, being challenged and that they can always choose to stop if they don't like what they are reading.
I am challenged; I want to write with more conviction, more confidence, more audacity. I wonder what will happen?

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Peter Elbow's writing books are fantastic. I used his Community of Writers to teach undergraduate composition.