Thursday 28 May 2009

Go read, now!

I don't normally like to "big up" other things, unless I'm reviewing a book I've found particularly helpful, or a web magazine that I think others might like, but I did stumble across a new blog that I wanted to tell people about.

To start with, I subscribe to Chris Guillebeau's blog, which is essential reading for anyone who wants to make a living in a way that suits them (particularly artists). After all, it's the dream of most creative people to make a living doing what they enjoy, or what they're good at, and in an age where a lot of people seem to work in offices doing jobs that seem not to matter a great deal, it's a good way to approach things. Anyway, through Chris' blog, I came across Zoƫ Westhof's blog. I've been reading back through her old posts, and I'm particularly interested in planning my own "creative mini retreat", since one of the biggest bugbears when it comes to writing is fitting it in. If you're interested in writing yourself, take a look.

On a slightly sillier note, I've now added a Twitter feed to my website. You're so lucky, you get to read all the drivel I come out with during an average day...

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Recommended Reading

There are a lot of creative writing manuals available, most of which teach the technicalities of grammar, style or theme. Occasionally these are accompanied by short stories to illustrate the points raised, and almost all of them include exercises designed to get the creative juices going. However, few succeed as well as Monica Wood's The Pocket Muse. Full of photographs to kickstart the imagination, as well as inspirational anecdotes, story ideas or 'fill in the blank' exercises, it's possible to follow them chronologically, as part of a homespun writing course, or you can dip in and out, opening the book at random and using the suggestion or photo as a starting point for that day's work. I think all writers, both experienced and otherwise, should own this book.