One of the main questions students ask is how to overcome writers block. It strikes me that even writing for pleasure soon becomes, in many ways, writing on demand once the interest turns serious.
So much of the time most of us spend at the cinema is simply being entertained – and that’s a great thing, don’t get me wrong. But there comes a time when just being entertained really isn’t enough. As those of you who read my occasional blogs will know, I’m a bit of a fan of the double bill. It’s environmentally friendly – fewer journey times – but often such long evenings out are emotional, intellectual and sensory overload.
Parody is enormous fun. It’s a very good way of finding out about other writers’ styles, although you have to choose someone with a distinctive voice. I think the greatest gains are to be had writing poetic parodies. You discover new verse forms, new ways of looking at things, new ways to use images, alliteration, metaphors
I’m an avid reader and am also fascinated by other people’s reading habits. For the last fifteen years I’ve recorded the title and author of every book I’ve finished (unfinished ones don’t count, it’s one of the odd little rules I have) in a dedicated notebook, and enjoy geekily looking through it sometimes to see what books I’ve read and when.