Do writers have a social/philosophical/political responsibility?

Stamp wich represents Sophie Scholl (Personal ...

Stamp wich represents Sophie Scholl (Personal stamp-collection of Gretaz). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been wondering about this question a lot lately.
Can’t remember why it popped up. Probably with reading up on how to be a good writer they sometimes ask the question

Why do you write?

and

Who do you write for?

When I read these questions I remembered when I started writing poetry some 20 years ago that I always wanted to be at least a socially critical writer. I used to be a very religious person but I have never followed any dogma without questioning it. So some of my more religious poems were quite critical. But I suspect as a teenager you are bound to be ;-).

Some of the authors/poets that I like/d were socially and politically critical like Kurt Tucholsky, Erich Fried or Wolfgang Borchert. But looking at them I realise they are all German-speaking/writing. So might that be an especial German/central European thing?

I think I was also influenced by reading the biographies of Sophie Scholl, Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. Their example inspired me and I think one of my core believes is that you can not stay aside or keep your mouth shut when something unjust happens. I have spoken up now and then not as often as I wanted to and I have always gotten into trouble and hardly ever achieved anything which did not motivate me a lot :-).

But I also realised that I enjoy reading entertaining literature of any sort. There is an awful lot of fantasy and criminal literature that I have read. I would never have thought about writing “just” something entertaining which I now think is quite arrogant :-).

“There is a time for everything” to quote the bible and not the byrds:
Sometimes you just need to shut your overactive mind up and escape somewhere into a lovely story but sometimes it is good to have a close look at the drawbacks of society/politics/philosophy and stand up and say something.

I am not sure if you can have an overall answer to this question as our writing era is so much more individual than it ever has been. I think being a good writer today means being versatile. Not doing only one thing but being able to write about many things and with different goals. But maybe I am wrong about this.

What do you think?

Back to work with #NaNoWriMo (#amwriting)

English: My own work. Created using "Inks...

English: My own work. Created using “Inkscape” software right from the scratch. Intented for counting the words (like edit count) of user contributions in personal pages. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I am going back to work and I am not sure how I will manage.

I write for #NaNoWriMo with Google’s Drive which gives me the possibility to write with my mobile as well. It also has a word count tool which is quite handy for #NaNo. I wrote in one of my last posts that I can even write offline which helps me at work as there is no good internet connection there.

So I have everything in place to use my breaks at work to get on with #NaNo. Still I feel like I have missed a chance to get on with #NaNoWriMo early meaning I am behind in the word count even though I had planned to be ahead to not have to write so much when I work.

But well I make up problems I suppose. I have realised I can write quite a lot and get on with it if I set my mind to it. My stats tell me that I would finish at the 3. December if I go on in my actual pace which is not too bad I think.

BUT I also realised the closer I come to the end of November the more it counts if I can’t make the word count. So no pressure at all 😉

I got up early so I have some time left to get writing and that I better do now :-)!

Good luck to you all and thanks for your feedback and support so far. May you have a wonderful and successful #NaNoWriMo!

 

 

Do you need a sidekick for your creativity? (#amwriting)

Lately I have realised that a lot of my poems are inspired by music. Somehow music does stir some muse in myself and keeps me writing. I have also realised that I can relax a lot when taking photographs so when I really can not get into writing I just get my mobile or camera and play around.

That is why I started to wonder if you need a sidekick creative activity for your creative work. Julia Cameron gave the advice in her book “The Artists Way” to have a day off per week to play around as creativity seems to work best in a playful surrounding. It does not work if it is a task and a responsibility according to her theory. In my experience this is true. I love blogging and writing but when life gets tough and writing is more on a schedule than fun then I just lose it.

If I start playing around with something like the free writing or the photography I get that fun back and can go on writing.

Therefore I think you need a sidekick for your creativity but what about you? Do you have a sidekick creative activity or does it come naturally not matter how the mood?

Can you write too much? (#amwriting)

English: Description: Social Networking Source...

English: Description: Social Networking Source: own work Author: koreshky Date: 12/10/2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I wonder if there can be an addiction to writing?

Right now I have several projects going:

2 blogs under pseudonym

5 regular ones of my own

1 non-regular one

1 Science-fiction serial (blog form as well)

1 novel

several social networking sites

A lot to do when  you have a full-time job and try to  have a family and social life as well.

But it is fun ~ it is such fun 🙂

 

 

A writing life

Yesterday I had to go to the hospital before I had to go to work. It is in a place about 25 miles away from where I live so most of my day went for that and work. I was not happy about it because I would rather have spent some time writing.

Got myself in a real bad mood and figured the day would be horrible. But then I thought: “I do not want to live my life like that. Just use the time to do something for writing”.

I have my notebook with me all the time since a few weeks. Therefore I got my pen out and wrote down what I could hear, see, feel, smell and taste. Well, as I did not eat anything in the waiting room I did not taste anything but there was a lot of the rest.

It is amazing how much information we process wherever we are without realising it. It is also amazing how much inspiration you can get just from sitting in a waiting room but writing down what is around you.

I think I will do this more often as it makes me more aware what is around me and should be a good exercise to make my descriptions more alive. Using all senses instead of just describing what you see makes a novel, story ect a lot more realistic. And my waiting times a lot less boring ;-).

Why Twitter does help writing….

Oh dear, life is an exciting roller coaster:

Have been bored in my lunch break at work and wrote an entry for this blog on my phone but for some strange reason android wordpress app decided that my blog is not my blog and did not save it. And I was so proud and happy that the cloud works and I can at last use my lunch breaks for some real fun 😉 …….

What does that have to do with Twitter and Twitter helping to write? Nothing really :-)… besides that I started this blog entry and the app decided to keep it ~ THANKS a lot guys!!!!!

Some days ago I have been reading Frame Tale’s blog entry about Twitter and how useful it could be to cut down unnecessary words in what you want to say. I guess that is right: you really have to get down to the bone of what you want to say when you write a tweet and that is probably what a good writer really is about.

But besides that I have become addicted to the “amwriting” hashtag. It gives a myriad of links, pages and books about writing and publishing which has given me a lot to think about in the last few days ( and a lot to read as well 🙂 )

There are funny updates on the writing process of other authors which just cheers one up when you get stuck in your daily grind. And it is just good to see that other’s are out there right now who are struggling with the passion for writing as well.

Shame though that German speaking authors have not yet discovered this tool. I would have loved to have a hashtag for “Ich schreibe” (which is “am writing” in German) as well.

And what is so exciting about this? Nothing really 🙂 …. I just wanted to write it!!!

 

A writing frenzy…..

…. oh dear I wish it would have been. But for my situation it probably was!

Yesterday I was writing that I sorted all housework to be able to do some writing today. And yea I have done it! About 4 hours with breaks and I am mightily proud. That probably makes a few people grin but we are humble and happy with the small victories in our writers-to-be life ;-).

I have spent my morning uploading my story files to Google Drive that I will be able to write from my mobile as well. Had quiet a few ideas while I was at work and wrote them down in a book. But I wished I could have seen my text and go into it so I thought I will give the cloud a chance. Have been trying Google Docs which has changed to Google Drive and they work quite well with my android. However it was a bit of a hassle at first writing in the cloud as it only auto-saves and I was constantly searching  for the save button :-).

Still managed to revise my main character’s conflict and main goal. Adjusted the story accordingly and revised the first chapter. Then I went on with the story itself but could not concentrate any more. I spent the rest of the time reading blogs about writing, for example Pandora Poiklos’s “”Piece from Pieces” which advertises for the Orangeberry Summer Splash.  Additionally I read some writing pages like “Daily Writing Tips” to learn more about language. Besides that I read some general blogs just for fun. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

In between writing I did some housework (NO ~ not to distract myself but to get my concentration back…. 🙂 really!!!! ). I am not sure this was a brilliant idea though as my mind was still with Zara so I managed to bake a bread but put the recycling stuff on the compost heap….. I am really living the dream!

🙂

Reading ~ nurturing the writer to be

I had no energy what so ever to write in the last few days even though the story or more the story line was in my mind all the time. I guessed I needed some time off to recharge. Seems like I can write about half of the week and the rest I need to deal with other things.

Arthur Miller, American playwright

Arthur Miller, American playwright (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The story is called “I don’t need you any more” written in 1959. It is about a 5-year-old Jewish boy on one of the Jewish Holidays trying to get to grips with his mother’s pregnancy, her feelings for an old friend, with religion and how to behave properly. Arthur Miller really gets you into the mind of the boy and his anxieties and hopes. It is at times so intense that I have to stop reading.  I have read “Death of a Salesman” in School and enjoyed it as well but never got to read anything else. Definitely a loss on my side. Not only other things but also concentrate on reading. I guess you can not write if you do not like to read. A few days ago I started the Short Story anthology “Presence” by Arthur Miller. Just half way through the first story but my goodness is this intense reading. Have not figured out properly how Arthur Miller did it but it is a joy to read him.

Well, there is enough time to get some more from him. I definitely recommend this book for writers to be.

Now I try to get myself back to write the novel. Have planned to do housework ect today before I go to work so I will have the whole day for writing tomorrow which is my day off. Well, I keep you updated how successful I will be 🙂

Some ideas ….

…. to how the people Zara is supposed to be the leader of fell out with their neighbours. I worked on that one this afternoon and am quite happy that the day job has not won today :-). It is a great feeling to get the story more alive and give it some background. Of course there is a love story to tell and some deceit and other pressures. I also want to work on the cultures of the two Peoples one more technology loving the others more spiritual. They must have worked together at one point but now they fight……