Open Notebook: The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing

Here are some perspectives David Morley shares in his fantastic book The Cambridge Introduction to Creative Writing. 

Writing proceeds forwards slowly, like a sand dune moving through night and day, simultaneously accreting and eroding. Much is lost or invisible, millions of grains of sand, millions of grains of language

You have now begun to walk in the open space of the page. The journey becomes an elaborate series of gambles, and there is no sense of forward progression as such; there is shaping and reconfiguring, stepping back, inking in and beginning over.

A notebook is a movable workplace… A notebook will make the difference between a book being born and one that never achieves conception.

…we have to use the right words and the right words in the best order.

Most writers agree that the best way to write well creatively is to write for yourself.

It follows that the best way to read as a writer is to read for yourself.

Open Notebook: The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing

IMG_5141After enjoying David Morley’s fantastic Writing Challenges podcast, I decided to take a look at the book David Morley co-edited with Philip Neilsen, The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing. Overall, this collection of articles offers some helpful perspectives (ranging from philosophical to practical) and exercises for creative writers. Here are a some lines that resonated with me.

What are you challenging yourself to do that makes it worthwhile for the reader to join you?—Kári Gíslason, “Travel Writing”

Is it not the point of art, both the production and the experience of it,
to transcend your own reality, your own autobiography?—Jewell Parker Rhodes, “Imaginative crossings: trans-global and transcultural narratives”

…to “write what you know” fosters provincialism. —Jewell Parker Rhodes, “Imaginative crossings: trans-global and transcultural narratives”

My admonition is to write what you can dream… write what you wish to discover… write what you need to about human nature. Stories, for me, have always been a wish fulfilment — an opportunity to make my life larger by stimulating my intellect, deepening my empathy, and connecting rather than distancing my self from others.—Jewell Parker Rhodes, “Imaginative crossings: trans-global and transcultural narratives”

…the writing workshop isn’t about being published… it is about being more deeply alive.—A.L. Kennedy, “Does that make sense?”

I currently believe that writing is a way of life, that it is a massively demanding discipline, that it is an almost irresistible source of enrichment, expression and change.—A.L. Kennedy, “Does that make sense?”

Writing consists of a multitude of individual decisions, massive and complex control of language in depth and considerable personal responsibility…—A.L. Kennedy, “Does that make sense?”

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