Archives

25.10.17

Write like you are at a dear friend’s funeral

I was at a memorial yesterday (goodbye, dear Jacqui), watching projected photos of my friend’s life, and listening to stories about her. We laughed a lot and felt our hearts crack open, as each of the speakers described Jacqui in all her specialness. And I was struck by the effortlessness with which each of us can craft a powerful story when it really matters.

Most people started their speech in the simplest and time-honoured manner, introducing themselves, and their relationship to Jacqui. Then they listed the qualities in Jacqui that had meant a lot to them with funny and poignant stories to illustrate these characteristics. And then they summed it all up and said farewell to her. Each speaker added a little to the whole picture of Jacqui and the various sides of her – mother, colleague, daughter, sister, friend – and filled in blanks for those of us who, like me, had not seen her for a while.  Read More

 
11.10.17

How to avoid the pitfalls of my super-simple blog formula

Do you feel uncomfortable with the mere suggestion that it is possible to write a blog to a formula?  Many writers do.  It’s like painting by numbers or using a colouring book instead of just drawing freehand.  It’s an automatic creative fail, isn’t it?

I want to let you in on a secret here.  Creative people work to formulas.  At least, that is where they start the creative journey.  The wildest abstract painter – Jackson Pollock, the artist who painted the image for this blog – started by learning to draw live models, a tried and true step that every artist takes on the path to self-expression. (click the link, to see one of his early life drawings)
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