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Writing is a solitary pursuit--the imagination guiding the hand moving the pen. I'm pretty old-school, valuing the work of good editors and the revisions process before letting my words go public. But life is short, right? And sometimes, just sometimes, we need to spout off.

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A writer, mother, teacher, friend, I love books, blizzards and beaches, music from Hildegard von Bingen to the Beatles to Bonnie Raitt to The Brood; I love medieval churches, red wine, creme caramel, and roasted beets, and walking the woods and coastlines of home. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Purpose

More naysaying in today's Globe and Mail about fiction: the fact, as everyone in publishing keeps saying, that nobody reads it anymore. And at the same time, a boom in creative writing courses. Go figure. Lots of writers (ahem) ready to teach, lots of people eager to learn...and then?
Sometimes I wish I lived in Jane Austen's day...or Colette's...or Margaret Laurence's. Pre-computers, anyway, when you wrote out your drafts, or, if you were lucky, typed them. Over and over, draft by draft. Or got a close relative or friend or (ahem) secretary to type them for you. In the days of carbon paper, correcto-tape or white out. (Actually the selectric typewriter was bliss--I used to write long missives to friends on one while working graveyard shift at a news agency, once upon a time, a long long time ago).
Anyway. Everybody and their cat writes these days. The computer has made it all so much easier. But how much of it is just throwing words down, just because?
How much of it is overload, the difficulty of publishing a glutton's reward for, well, if not gluttony, then verbosity.
Maybe silence is silken, if not golden. Maybe silence is what we should aspire to at times.


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