Tag Archives: Hemingway

Guest Post: An Official Invitation

This guest post comes to you from Anna, an honorary member at our Spring writing retreat.

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One very cold evening this past February, I received an invitation in my inbox: “How would you like two full days of dedicated writing time where the only interruptions would be the songbirds (outside) and some free-flowing vino (inside)?”

Well, I am not really a writer, but I have always enjoyed the sound of songbirds and of course, have never been known to say no to free-flowing vino, inside or out! So of course, I said yes and this past weekend enjoyed a weekend as a guest member of the Restless Writers at the Andrew Logan House in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

What a privilege it was to join this super talented, generous and just plain nice group of women. There was such a feeling of peace and yes, as corny as it sounds, harmony.

In the words of one restless writer, “you decompress the moment you step in the door”.

We left everything behind (except of course for the copious amounts of food, drink and other “writing” supplies) and we focused on the moment.

There was plenty of space – to be alone and to come together. We read, we wrote, we reflected.

We cooked for each other, told each other stories, ate and drank together, encouraged one another and shared awesome “gifts of wisdom”.

Maria madcocktailse us special Algonquin cocktails – they are rye–based and every single one of us despises rye.  Yet we soldiered on, bravely sipping the concoction, pretending we were grownups in another era, before finally accepting defeat and ceremoniously pouring them down the drain. They came with a great Dorothy Parker-style story, so we had to try!

Sharon shared some beautiful lemon cream tulips and wisdom learned from her late Mom, advice she is still learning to perfect, about enjoying the deck liftulipse hands you, whatever it may be.

Beckie gave us special handmade quote books that included William Faulkner’s line, “If a story is in you, it has got to come out,” along with other thoughtful sayings and a few irreverent ones, such as the group’s mantra: write drunk, edit sober (Hemingway).

Andrea’s gift, a gratitude book, promises to start a new tradition, a brave attempt to capture in written form what this special group means to its members.

This past weekend, the birds did sing, the sun did shine, the wine did flow and the creative spirit was released (not to mention the visiting spirits from the graveyard across the street).

As Andrecakea shouted out spontaneously, “I’m happy to be here! Just for the record.”

Well said, Andrea! Thank you Restless Writers. I’ve never had an experience like that before. Even if the best lines in this post are the invitation, I’ll never forget it!

Anna

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21 Tips for Writers (10 + 11 = 21)

A great post landed in my Twitter account today—a must share with fellow restless writers.

From tweet to post: 21 Tips for Writers by Australian writer, Jodi Cleghorn (inspired by: Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne) is a terrific read, and even better chuckle.  Jodi believes that “writing is writing—whether you’re a song writer, a journalist, an academic, a poet, a film maker or a novelist – and there are commonalities to the creative process of writing and how to make it work for you.”

Check it out: 21 Tips for Writers

  • Defend your work and keep your creative dignity – learn to say no/no way/go f*ck yourself – because no one else will stand up for your work.
  • Don’t show your work to family and friends – you will erroneously become attached to what they think is brilliant – which in fact is likely to be absolute crap.
  • Back yourself – don’t ask for permission to do what you want to do.
  • Look after yourself – writing will ruin your health – so take care – consider writing standing up (apparently Hemingway did this) and making use of pen and paper rather than chaining yourself to a computer.
  • Persevere – your yell is someone else’s whisper and whispers are pervasive, it will get heard – work on several projects – this keeps you energised and working creatively even when one project isn’t firing.
  • Get to know your process – work out when and where you work best and do it your own way – try to write every day, even if just for a few minutes and carry a note-book with you so ideas don’t escape you.
  • Don’t hold back and don’t protect yourself – say things no one else has said before – turn off the inner critic/editor.
  • Cultivate a community of writers – writing can be a lonely enterprise, but it doesn’t need to be – other writers understand where you are, what you’re thinking and feeling.
  • Build an audience online – utilise a website or a blog to connect with readers – capture them through a mailing list – don’t be afraid to give away free stuff.
  • Go out and live your life – do not allow yourself to become stuck in a hole of your own creativity – especially when you’re creatively blocked – being in the real world is the best antidote.

Okay, seriously I can count. This is only 10. For the remaining 11 visit Write Anything. And while you’re there, check out their weekly #fictionfriday challenge.

How can you incorporate these tips into YOUR writing life? 

Beckie

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