Wednesday 19 July 2023

Writerly Preoccupations

When I was batting around ideas for a workshop one of the exercises I came up with was getting the participants to look at what preoccupies them as a writer - what interests them and inspires them, what themes they keep coming back to. As always I did the exercise myself to see what happened and it turned out to be a really useful and productive thing to do. 

You might want to try it - think about what interests you as a writer or artist? What are your preoccupations? What subjects or themes interest you? What things do you find yourself coming back to? Don't just limit yourself to things you have written about - I am interested in many different things that directly, but sometimes indirectly into my work. I found I learnt things about myself by doing this exercise.

Here are mine:

Human relationships place; the intersection between the human world, the natural world and the mystical realm; how events changes us - especially loss and grief; family dynamics; how place affects us and/or shapes us; psychology and counselling; music and lyrics; the past and how we repeat behaviour patterns; cruelty and violence (and the reasons for it); myth and fairytale; parallel universes; a Utopian future; the disintegration of a caring democratic society; repetition and internal rhyme; other worlds; art house film; stories where the ending is ambiguous or left open; other species; where wildness encroaches on order; edges and borders; otherness; the the physical body (and how it ages); being a parent - and how that changes over time; loss and grief; the stories and lies we tell ourselves (and others); memory; collective memory; the way memory changes over time; trauma and how its passed down through families.