Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 4]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 4

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 16th November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

The solution to a problem — a story that you are unable to finish — is the problem. It isn’t as if the problem is one thing and the solution something else. The problem, properly understood = the solution. Instead of trying to hide or efface what limits the story, capitalize on that very limitation. State it, rail against it.
(7/31/73)

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Talking like touching
Writing like punching somebody
(8/14/73)

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To be a great writer:
know everything about adjectives and punctuation (rhythm)
have moral intelligence — which creates true authority in a writer
(2/6/74)

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‘Idea’ as method of instant transport away from direct experience, carrying a tiny suitcase.
‘Idea’ as a means of miniaturizing experience, rendering it portable. Someone who regularly has ideas is — by definition — homeless.
Intellectual is a refugee from experience. In Diaspora.
What’s wrong with direct experience? Why would one ever want to flee it, by transforming it — into a brick?
(7/25/74)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Her often provocative essays and speeches drew criticism. The New York Review of Books called her “one of the most influential critics of her generation.”

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 3]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 3

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 9th November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

French, unlike English: a language that tends to break when you bend it.
(6/21/72)

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A writer, like an athlete, must ‘train’ every day. What did I do today to keep in ‘form’?
(7/5/72)

In ‘life,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my work. In ‘work,’ I don’t want to be reduced to my life.
My work is too austere
My life is a brutal anecdote
(3/15/73)

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The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader’s heart
[…]
The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.
(6/27/73)

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I’m now writing out of rage — and I feel a kind of Nietzschean elation. It’s tonic. I roar with laughter. I want to denounce everybody, tell everybody off. I go to my typewriter as I might go to my machine gun. But I’m safe. I don’t have to face the consequences of ‘real’ aggressivity. I’m sending out colis piégés ['booby-trapped packages'] to the world.
(7/31/73)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or traveling to, areas of conflict. She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and communism and leftist ideology.

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 2]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 2

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 2nd November 2014

susan sontag photo for series

Greatest subject: self-seeking to transcend itself (Middlemarch, War and Peace)
Looking for self-transcendence (or metamorphosis) — the cloud of unknowing that allows perfect expressiveness (a secular myth for this)
(undated loose sheets, 1965)

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Kafka the last story-teller in ‘serious’ literature. Nobody has known where to go from there (except imitate him)
(undated loose sheets, 1965)

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John Dewey — ‘The ultimate function of literature is to appreciate the world, sometimes indignantly, sometimes sorrowfully, but best of all to praise when it is luckily possible.’
(1/25/65)

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I think I am ready to learn how to write. Think with words, not with ideas.
(3/5/70)

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‘Writing is only a substitute for living.’ — Florence Nightingale
(12/18/70)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Sontag became an international cultural and intellectual celebrity. Her best known works include On Photography, Against Interpretation, The Way We Live Now, Illness as Metaphor, Regarding the Pain of Others, The Volcano Lover and In America.

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Thoughts On Writing – Susan Sontag [Series Pt 1]

a writer's word new 14th june 2014Thoughts on Writing

A Multiple Part Series – Part # 1

“Think With Words—Not Ideas”

by Susan Sontag

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 26th October 2014

susan sontag photo for series

I have a wider range as a human being than as a writer. (With some writers, it’s the opposite.) Only a fraction of me is available to be turned into art.
(8/8/64)

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Words have their own firmness. The word on the page may not reveal (may conceal) the flabbiness of the mind that conceived it. All thoughts are upgrades — get more clarity, definition, authority, by being in print — that is, detached from the person who thinks them.
A potential fraud — at least potential — in all writing.
(8/20/64)

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Writing is a little door. Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through.
(8/30/64)

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If only I could feel about sex as I do about writing! That I’m the vehicle, the medium, the instrument of some force beyond myself.
(11/1/64)

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Science fiction —
Popular mythology for contemporary negative imagination about the impersonal
(11/1/64)

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A Short Note for the end of each part of this 8 part series.

Susan Sontag [January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004] was an American writer and filmmaker, professor, literary icon, and political activist. Beginning with the publication of her 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”

gold fountain pen for sontag series

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Top Ten Writing Rules from Famous Writers

a writer's word polished or raw

Top Ten Writing Rules

from Famous Writers

Post by Jennifer Kiley

Post Sunday 19th October 2014

 Top Ten Writing Rules from Famous Writers

quill pen fade

Rule # 10

Write a draft.
Then let it rest.

- Stephen King

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Rule # 9

Read a lot.

- Stephen King

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Rule # 8

Never use a long word
when a short one will do.

- George Orwell

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Rule # 7

Never use the passive
when you can use the active instead.

- George Orwell

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Rule # 6

Know your audience.

- Pierre Berton

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Rule # 5

Recycle
& read the good stuff
before you write.

- Pierre Berton

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Rule # 4

Honour the miraculousness
of the ordinary.

- Andrew Morton

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Rule # 3

Good draft = draft – 10%

- Stephen King

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Rule # 2

Look at every word in a sentence
& decide if they are really needed.
If not – kill them.
Be ruthless.

– Bob Cooper

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Rule # 1

Remember:
Writing doesn’t love you.
It doesn’t care.
Nevertheless it can behave
with remarkable generosity.
Speak well of it. Encourage others.
Pass it on.

- Al Kennedy

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underwood old fashion typewriter

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Your Elusive Creative Genius

tell me a story
Your Elusive Creative Genius

TED Talk: Elizabeth Gilbert

Post Created by Jennifer Kiley

Reposted from July 2013 

RePost Thursday 9th October 2014
 

PURE CREATIVE GENIUS IN ELIZABETH GILBERT’S TALK. IT’S FUNNY. AMUSING. INFORMATIVE. INSPIRATIONAL. EAT PRAY LOVE. SET A SPELL & BE PREPARED TO LAUGH. MS. GILBERT SPEAKS QUITE WELL FOR HERSELF. ENJOY!!! jkm

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

“Eat, Pray, Love” Author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

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Ray Bradbury – “Story of a Writer” (1963)

tell me a story

Ray Bradbury - “Story of a Writer”

Post Thursday 28th August 2014

Created by Jennifer Kiley

 

 

 

 

FOR THE FULLEST EXPERIENCE OPEN VIDEO TO FULL SCREEN
USE HEADPHONES FOR BEST SOUND EXPERIENCE

Ray Bradbury - “The Story of a Writer”

 

Short public domain documentary about Ray Bradbury by David L. Wolper, 1963. An annotated viewing: brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/08/22/ray-bradbury-story-of-a-writer-1963

Available for download: archive.org/details/RayBradburyStoryOfAWriterByDavidL.Wolper

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REMEMBER
DO WHAT YOU LOVE