don’t know why my site is still up…ozemail seems to have forgotten to delete it. either that, or it just permanently drifts around in cyberspace. i can’t get in to change links or anything, but it’s there for interest’s sake, until i build a new site with new stuff it in.
of course, that means i will have to actually write some new material. now my graduation is coming up (on october 15) it feels like it’s time to admit i’ve had a long enough ‘break’, shake off the inactivity and get going. having a study helps 🙂
i still haven’t worked out what i think about writing methods. whether it’s better to try and force productivity, doing exercises like piano scales to break a block, or whether it’s better to wait until inspiration strikes and then write until that vein is exhausted. at the moment, neither is happening so in some ways i feel like it would be better to try and write than not – often from a dodgy beginning i can find fragments that are worth developing and turn into publishable stories. but for each one of those there are a dozen half pages and aborted attempts at being clever languishing on my hard drive.
i don’t think there’s much virtue in trying to be too clever with writing. it’s better to write honestly and so that you actually enjoy the process and the result, than trying to be the most brilliant novelist under 30, or trying to find the most original plot twist, or trying to write Worthy Literature.
the thing about that i find interesting is that certain writers seem to get a tad bitter when others find acclaim or success for writing work that is perhaps less high-brow than others, as if their efforts are somehow less valuable because the product is popular. the comments AS Byatt had concerning JK Rowling last year for example. i agree that Rowling’s work doesn’t stretch the mind as much as other writing in that genre, but as fay weldon says at the end of that article “She is absolutely right that it is not what the poets hoped for,” Weldon said. “But this is not poetry, it is readable, saleable, everyday, useful prose.”
i suppose if all you read is fairly formulaic children’s fiction, then you’re not really going to be experiencing everything an amazing novel has to offer. but i think there is a place for ‘comfort’ reading – there have been times when it’s all i can manage, when i need something familiar and easy to digest to make me feel better. the harry potter books are definitely mashed potato books, but i don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
and byatt does recommend “the great Terry Pratchett, whose wit is metaphysical, who creates an energetic and lively secondary world, who has a multifarious genius for strong parody as opposed to derivative manipulation of past motifs, who deals with death with startling originality. Who writes amazing sentences.” so she can’t be all bad.