Saturday, 19 August 2017

New challenges

I have just returned from being on a panel discussing Fiction at the University where I completed my Masters Degree. It was challenging to be seated in front of a crowd all of whom wanted to know how we write fiction but also many who wanted to write a book themselves. Not many questions were asked of the panel from the audience yet there was much nodding of heads as a particular topic was raised, or frowning faces when another was discussed. Each of the five authors on the panel had so very different stories to tell and so many varied ways of going about it. It challenged me to consider my points of view on several matters but also how I approach the task of writing itself. I was alone in stating that there was no such thing as writer's block, serving up the belief that it is only a pause in the telling of a story that makes a writer temporarily stop and reconsider how the next sentence goes. My solution was simple; continue to write but something other than the novel they were working on. Write an email, a blog, a letter, a shopping list., or a sentence that describes what the next paragraph should be about. Or go for a walk or a swim or have a coffee while staring out at Nature or talking to a pet. All this is a distraction for the brain allowing it to recuperate and get back on track, to be fresh for the next sentence of the novel. The point being that it is only the pause of an idea that cannot be written down at that exact moment and not what is loudly proclaimed as writer's block. The other writers on the panel disagreed with my idea, which was a challenge for me, yet I still retain that belief. So while it is good to be challenged it does not mean we have to abandon our beliefs if they are based on rational thought.  This of course applies to many aspects of life, as well as in the fictional world of story telling. Passion in a topic can be instructive as well as destructive. It is for the mind to sieve out the irrational and be strengthened by the rational. My next challenge is to complete the next sentence of the novel I am working on!

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