Writing as Self-Help: A Workshop

writing as self help adult-1868015_960_720Sometimes workshops do not go according to plan. Sometimes that’s a good thing.

Recently I had the privilege of conducting a two-evening workshop on writing as a tool for suicide prevention with a group of five youth. A town nearby had experienced a troubling spate of teen suicides over the past year. A youth worker from the area asked me if, as a writer, I could put a workshop together on how writing might be a prevention tool. Continue reading “Writing as Self-Help: A Workshop”

One Indie Author’s Techno-Terror and Promo-Phobia

anxious author at work laptop-868501__340It is an accepted truism that those of us with high artistic aptitudes often lack business aptitude and vice-versa. Many writers bemoan the necessity of and time spent on promotion. We want to write. Most of us do not enjoy the aspects of our craft that involve promotion, marketing and the non-creative side of our profession.

Let’s say that I am the poster-child for this problem. I have a website. When it was set up, (and I needed someone to do that for me) I promised myself I would post regularly on it. I don’t. We are told by those who know that we need an email list and a newsletter to let fans, friends and followers know what’s new, what’s coming and generally stay in friendly contact. In spite of repeated self-flagellation, I have not done so. Continue reading “One Indie Author’s Techno-Terror and Promo-Phobia”

Is It Creation or Appropriation?

connect with Indies Unlimited on Facebook hands-543593_960_720Recently Hal Niedzviecji, chief editor of Write Magazine, the quarterly published by the Writers Union of Canada, was pressured to resign as a result of his editorial, “Win Appropriation Prize”. His take was that there ought to be no barriers to writing about those we do not “know” and that readers would be the ones to take us to task if we cross the line.

The furor that resulted prompted me to explore the topic of cultural appropriation in writing. It’s a tricky one and the opinions run the gamut from “never” to “anything goes”. Continue reading “Is It Creation or Appropriation?”

Writing Description: Then and Now

writing better description cartoon-145013_960_720

Hemingway is famous for his short, straightforward sentences that get rid of unnecessary descriptive words for a more concise, minimalistic style of writing.August Wainright

In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway wrote, “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of the iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

This was a grand departure from the great literature that preceded it, like that of Dickens, Hugo or other romantic novelists. While Hemingway was a pioneer in this more terse, modern style, his opinions are by no means universally accepted. I have done some research and given some thought to the divergence of opinion on the uses and styles of description in modern writing and what brought about the changes. Continue reading “Writing Description: Then and Now”