Your business of writing: In ‘Why I Write’ (1946), George Orwell proposed that there are four motivators for writing: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. How far does this resonate with you?
In this free Zoom-mediated session, we’ll look at the business of writing from several different angles. These are likely to include: motivation, points of view, honest self-criticism (in the constructive sense of the word), audiences or ‘markets’ for our writing, and reputation. And we’ll share answers to questions such as: In what ways has writing become a business for us? When – if ever – do we start to think of ourselves as writers? What sustains us after that eureka moment? What might encourage us to think of ourselves as writers if we don’t already do so? Why are we interested in the business of writing?
How we'll engage: Following a welcome and scene-setting, Nick will open by sharing a few episodes in his journey towards becoming a writer. We’ll then invite you to tell something of your stories in small groups of three, and to engage in some writing. After a refreshment break, we’ll look at the business of writing in other ways.
Nick writes: ‘Writing can sometimes be like a chemical experiment - a mixture of different doses of different ingredients in a search to create something effective. We don’t quite know what’s going to happen - will there be some wonderful new lotion or medicine that will cure all the writer’s ills, or will there be an explosion that destroys the Laboratory of Writing? Is that where a piece of writing starts? In a lab? Or are we more like painters? What would happen if I put a bit of indigo on the leaves of that tree? Or if there was a ripple on the lake, there…?’
Sharing your thoughts: Please feel free to use this Discussion Forum if you'd like to offer any thoughts or resources about 'The Business of writing'.
About Nick Yapp: Amongst his many other publications, Nick has written ‘Memoirs of a Maladjusted Teacher’. He says that he sneaked into the writing business by rising early and hammering out short stories for women's magazines and gags for BBC Radio 4 on his typewriter. When he realised he could make more from writing than from teaching, he ran away from school to become a full-time, free-lance writer. Thirty years later he remains addicted to writing. E: email@example.com
How to reserve your place: Please e-mail Bob (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 5 June (earlier if possible). We will then send you a link to our Zoom gathering, along with any further information. We’re limiting the number of participants to 15, to afford everyone as much air time as possible within the opportunities and constraints of Zoom technology. So do book as soon as you can.
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