“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
― Zora Neale Hurston
Happy New Year, all!
Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance. -James Baldwin
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” ~ Marcus Garvey
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
— William Butler Yeats, 1920
“The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed.”
There are days when the creative tap only drips. Here’s a tip: put aside the Big Project for a few hours, grab a notepad and pen and head outside. Be a reporter. Don’t write fancy sentences or big ideas or pretty metaphors. Just describe what you see and hear in straightforward reportage. Transcribe an overheard conversation on the streetcar. Describe the clothes someone is wearing at the bus stop. List the items the guy ahead of you has in his shopping cart. Just… write. It’s amazing how the physical act of translating the seen and heard into words can open things up and get you back to the Big Project with the taps wide open.
Andrew Pyper is an award-winning and bestselling author of several novels, including The Demonologist. He has also taught creative writing at Trent University, the University of Toronto and Colorado College.
“The most important thing if you want to be a writer is to find something to get you going. What usually works for me is a deadline. Sign up for a writers’ class, join a writers’ group, volunteer for a local paper — do whatever you have to do so that someone somewhere is expecting you to hand them something. Make it as good as you can make it, and then show it to someone and listen to what they have to say and then go at it again.
If that sounds like fun to you, then maybe you are a writer. If it sounds like lunacy, if it sounds like torture — you’re probably right too.”