Why do you write?

In her book ‘Negotiating with the dead, a writer on writing’, Margaret Atwood pens all the reasons she can find for why writers write. It’s a rather extensive list. I wonder if your reasons are in there … many of mine are! Continue reading

Instructions for writing about Africa

A satirical, very pointed, quite painful, set of instructions for writing a novel about Africa (for Non-African readers). I thought my clichéd “white person on safari” photo accompanied it rather nicely. Continue reading

The danger of a single story

The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.

– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns of the danger of hearing only a single story about another person or country. Continue reading

The Shock of the Fall

The worst thing about this illness isn’t the things it makes me believe, or what it makes me do. It’s not the control that it has over me, or even the control it’s allowed other people to take.

Worse than all of that is how I have become selfish.

Mental illness turns people inwards. That’s what I reckon. It keeps us forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.

– The Shock of the Fall, Nathan Filer

Joan Didion on Self-respect

Self-respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth.

– Joan Didion

I just read Joan Didion’s essay ‘Self-respect: its source, its power’. It’s a beautifully written piece that resonated with me so I wanted to share it. Continue reading

Ian McEwan’s writing process and the activity of reading

If someone was playing tennis you wouldn’t walk onto the court and start engaging them in a conversation … I think reading is at least as important as playing tennis. 

– Ian McEwan

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My favourite Roald Dahl quotes

In honour of Roald Dahl Day, I’d thought I’d share some of my favourite Roald Dahl quotes. Some of them are about writing, others advice on how to have a great life, others are just funny.  Continue reading

World Poetry Day: A Brief for the Defense

In celebration of World Poetry Day, I’d thought I’d share this wonderful poem by Jack Gilbert with you all. Of course there’s always the poem that was the inspiration for my blog, A Dead Rose by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Do you have a favourite poem? If so, leave me a comment and let me know. It’s always wonderful to discover new poets and poems.

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