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.

31 comments:

Liz said...

Hi Nuala, can I go into the hat, please...like the tips, especially 9 and 10! cheers!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

You are in Liz!

Kar said...

I would love this book, may I be included pllleeeaasssseeeeee…..

Thank you for sharing Margaret’s top ten tips, I shall print them off for me and forward them on to others! Think my favourite is number 5! ;-)

And Congratulations on making the short list, Wena Poon and Toby Litt, you’re in good company there, the very best of luck to you.

x

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

I'll put you in Kar.

Yes, no 5. But shade-grown??!! Wtf? I don't care where the choco beans come from as long as it's tasty choc. Though I do love the organic Green n Black's - had it last night. Droooool!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Anthony Lawless now in the hat via Facebook.

THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE G-MAIL ACCTS MAY LEAVE A COMMENT ON MY FACEBOOK POST AND I'LL PUT YOU IN THE HAT!

Kar said...

hmm yes what is shade-grown?! I also have my doubts that it would help writers block! Still I like the idea of using it as an excuse!
Ooohhh Green n Black's I love the stuff! wouldn't mind a little piece now....

Julia Bohanna said...

Margaret Atwood is one of my favs..so I would like to be thrown into the hat, too!

Valerie O'Riordan said...

Hi Nuala,

can I please go in the hat? I've just finished volume 2! Those tips are great - reading the book you've been putting off is a good one, nothing like an inspiring treat!

Valerie

Anna May said...

Hi Nuala, Congratulations on being shortlisted for the Willesden Herald Competition ! And please put me in your hat ?
Anna May x

Niamh B said...

Please do add me to the hat, you can never have too many red books.

Congrats on Willesdon!

Rachel Fox said...

Into the hat for me too please.
x

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Julia
Valerie
Anna-May
Niamh B
Rachel

YOU ARE ALL IN THE HAT!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Put me in the hat please Nuala.There are a lot of nice people in there already, we could have a party!If you get the mug ,will you drink out of it, or put it in the trophy cabinet? Best of luck, hope you win.And I'm glad you mentioned PR cos I'd forgotten that I wanted to get a back copy with Jack Kerouac in it.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Oh and by the way there is only one cure for writers block(if such a thing exists) and that is (unfortunately) writing, no matter how hard it is , how much you may even loathe it at the time,you just have to force yourself.The problem is paradoxicalkly also the cure.(All due respect to Atters like....)

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

I'm sure Atters knows she has your respect, TFE. You are in the HAT! Have fun in there...

Angela France said...

Congratulations on the short-listing!

Please may I go in the hat? I have a very old copy and love it so would really like a more up to date issue.

Mai Kahari's Student said...

Congratulations, dear Nuala. I will be rooting for you.

Petina

whereimbloggingfrom said...

Shade-grown choccie - lol. That's all very well for MA, but as a starving writer, I'll stick to Crunchies.

Please throw me in the hat! Tell me you have an actual hat. :)

Have my fingers crossed for you for Willesden.

Tania Hershman said...

Huge congratulations on the Willesden shortlist, you are in the fabulous company of Carys and Tom, too! And - please put me in the hat!

lucy said...

Would you believe I am eating some Green and Blacks Maya Gold as I'm reading and writing? Coincidence.. actually took it out to prepare for 'Desperate Housewives'... about to start any minute. Congratulations Nuala on being short listed for Willesden,am sure you will win. Wena Poon and Toby Litt don't even sound like real people to me, but what great names! Would love my name to go in hat, as I love love love Paris. x
Lucy

Rachel Fenton said...

Baaah! Is it too late to go into the hat?

Number 5 is chocolate block - not writer's block! Doh! Even I know that!

Sara Crowley said...

Ooh, pop me in the hat too please, Nuala.

I quite like M.A's tip to write in a different form - list etc.

And congrats again on the shortlisting.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Thanks all.
Angela
Eimear
Tania
Lucy
Rachel
Sara YOU ARE ALL IN THE HAT - WHICH IS QUITE REAL!!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

DRAW ON THURSDAY 28TH, SO THERE'S STILL TIME PEEPS!

Rachel Fenton said...

I am aware this may seem odd but what kind of hat is it? - I feel my chances of winning may be greater if I can visualise the hat....

Rachel Fenton said...

Bobbins I forgot it again - supposed to have said CONGRATULATIONS AND GOOD LUCK..third time lucky!

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

R - it's a hot pink deerhunter with furry earmuffs. Demented looking in a cool way!!

BarbaraS said...

Happy birthday - now you're in my decade ;)

Put me in the hat if it's not too late...

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Barbara - your name is in the hat!

Desmond Swords said...

Hello Nuala.

I first read the writers on writing section in a back-stack of PR, at Knocknaheeney library in the early spring of 2001. You can read many of them online at the PR site here.

Please can I be put in the hat too?

Thanks very much.

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

Hi Desmond. You are in by the skin of your teeth!

Draw in a few minutes!