Tuesday, 26 January 2010
FREE PARIS REVIEW INTERVIEWS VOL. 3 & ATWOOD’S WRITER’S BLOCK TIPS & WILLESDEN S'LIST
My beloved and forgetful man bought me two volumes of the Paris Review Interviews for my 40th: the red one, Vol. 3, and the purple one, Vol. 4. (Oh, apparently I am only 30-10 according to the Sunday Times...) Thing is, he bought me the red one before...now I have two copies. And even I don't need two copies of every book I covet. So, I am giving one to one of you.
Post a comment saying that you’d like the book, and I will put all your names in a hat and pick one of you out. I will post to anywhere.
Margaret Atwood wrote the intro to Volume 3, which reminds me, I came across this: her top ten tips for curing writer’s block. Take it away, Margaret:
1.Go for a walk, do the laundry or some ironing, hammer some nails, go swimming, play a sport – anything that requires some focus and involves repetitious physical activities. At the very least: take a bath or shower.
2. Read the book you’ve been putting off.
3. Write in some other form: even a letter or a journal entry. Or a grocery list. Keep those words flowing put through your fingers.
4. Formulate your problem, then go to sleep. The answer may be there in the morning.
5. Eat some chocolate, not too much, must be dark (60% cocoa or more), shade-grown, organic.
6. If fiction: change the tense (past/present or vice versa).
7. Change the person (first, second, third).
8. Change the sex.
9. Think of your book-in-progress as a maze. You’ve hit a wall. Go back to where you made the wrong turn. Start anew from there.
10. Don’t get angry with yourself. Give yourself an encouraging present.
If none of this works, put the book in a drawer. You may come back to it later. Start something else.
Choc from shade-grown cocoa beans? OK...
I do agree with the rest of it. Even a walk down the town can spark things off for me when nothing is flowing.
p.s. Just heard that I've made the shortlist for the Willesden Herald short story comp - yipee! That mug may soon be mine. Mwahaa haa haa haa! Wena Poon and Toby Litt are also on the list. See here for more.