Blog Entries
This Week on WA
Category: Site News

Well, I'm back home and catching up on sleep as well as getting back into some kind of routine. 

Bieke has penned and interesting weekly Blog on her writing journey and learning the nuts and bolts of the writing process. I'm sure some of her experiences resonate with each of us.

Sally has provided some written and visual Monday Muses, so if you're looking for some inspiration, pop over and take a look. Just twenty minutes (or less) is all you need.

There is plenty of activity going on in Works in Progress forum if you have some time to provide feedback, I'm sure it will be appreciated. And good luck to those of you submitting pieces this month, let's hope we see you in another forum soon!

Speaking of which, on the Bragging Stool we have Sue who has had some photographs accepted for ArtAscent and Jill continues her success streak with third prize in the Writers Reign competition, well done both!

I'm a bit confused reading through the Skype chat from yesterday but that's nothing unusual. Dianne will be posting the notes later. 

I've started a thread for the magazine content in the WA Mag forum, so please don't be shy! We need to get moving on this.

And I've added a Google calendar to the Planner section as I'm thinking of switching. Let me know what you think.

Anything I've missed, please shout out.

 

 

 

IMPROVING OUR GAME
Category: Writing
Tags: improving learning courses workshops peer editing

A few weeks ago I was following the Wimbledon final and the struggle between the up and coming Canuck, Milos Raonic, and the well-loved and weathered Andy Murray. Murray won and he said after the match how Raonic’s blistering serve had been easy enough for him to dismantle. Murray is a master at dismantling serves and Raonic’s, while the hardest on the circuit, lacks variety. Raonic said that as long as there was grass on the courts, he would be back and that, meantime, he would work to improve all aspects of his game. None of this, of course, was lost on me, a writer who is only starting to fully understand the value of working on all aspects of your game.

When I was young I laboured under the illusion that talent was all one needed to produce perfect pieces. I would be stunned when a story or poem was praised for all its qualities and still would be passed over. At first I would console myself that I was a misunderstood genius who would not shine her light upon the world until after her death. Yes, I was very young then. As I grew I told myself that I was not the flavour of the month or that other types of writing than mine were now favoured. Then I grew wise and I got to work.

I don’t know if a kind of artistic laziness kept me from learning to manipulate the necessary tools of the trade or whether I needed this time to let my talent blossom unfettered. It is what it is, as they say, but it is not without regret that I can now say I probably missed out. Mastering the tools of the trade—and I don’t mean just being able to use a pen and paper, or a laptop—is essential to fine tune skills and so to enhance greatly whatever raw talent is present.

The journey from learning to read and write, mastering grammar and syntax, developing style and a voice as I manipulate words to make a poem or piece of prose, is one of the most fascinating journeys of my life. And just as it is said that the unexamined life is not worth living, I can now say that any unexamined piece of writing I ever put together has not been worth the ink spilled on it. Except maybe for a few gems that just came out fully formed.

I know I produced some gems in my early days and I would never discourage a person from staying in the unexamined phase for as long as it takes to find that voice, build up that confidence, explore the self. It takes courage to become critical of one’s own writing. We are expected to be like Omar Sharif’s Doctor Zhivago, who sits down at night by the blue light of the moon, Julie Christie’s Lara sleeping stunningly amidst furs, and greet the morning light with a collection of impeccably written poems and with ink that never froze no matter how low the temperature had dropped in that winter décor.

Reality is different and the journey is a long one of many trials and errors but once we get past the expectation that we should produce something perfect rather than that we labour to make something perfect, the journey truly becomes a journey. It is a journey where I learned that the more I know, the more I realize how little I know. Now if Raonic, who can make the Wimbledon final, can humbly admit to the world that he has more work to do on his game then I, who is barely hanging on in this circuit of published writing, can register for my next course, pick up the next book that teaches writing, and humbly ask my fellow writers to teach me what I still have to learn and to flag the mistakes I make.   

This Week 18th July 2016
Category: Site News

Firstly – I’m on holiday at the moment, currently residing by the sea in sunny Feungirola. Off to Malaga Old Town tomorrow and then into the mountains after that.

Discouragement is something I’m sure we all encounter from time to time. And, on the blog this week, Maggie has given us a very thought-provoking post on the subject and how to avoid it and keep writing in the face of it.

Crilly has provided the Monday muses with some great prompts and some wonderful photos – I love the pony.

The bragging stool has been quiet this week. Only Sally sitting there. Sally sent a piece to the Guardian weekly and received a personal reply – very impressive.

There is still time to get something in for the July challenge – lots of competitions to enter.

And that’s it. Now I’m off to the beach with my kindle to keep me company – hope you all have a fabulous week.

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Monday, July 25, 2016
This Week on WA
Recent Blog Posts
IMPROVING OUR GAME
Posted by Bieke Stengos

A few weeks ago I was following the Wimbledon final and the struggle between the up and coming Canuck, Milos Raonic, and the well-loved and...Read More

Discouragement as Part of the Process, not the End of the Process
Posted by Maggie Shelton

Thank you WA writers for your collective wisdom! I’ve posted my appreciation for your responses here because the site would not accept another comment...Read More

Why I Write
Posted by Hamish Macdonald

I know people who revere, and at least one person who idolize, George Orwell as a writer. They are all men.

I confess I...Read More

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