Belly Dancers, Axe Murderers, and the Flame of the Writing Fire

Highlights of some of the things I’ve been reading online recently.

Reading Room

Here’s a round-up: I was going to make it a list post but then thought better about it ;-)

“This is my first book.” I smiled at the man behind the counter as he placed the freshly printed manuscript into a bag. He smiled back, shyly. There was a tiny gleam of admiration in his eyes and I felt 10 feet tall. I wanted to hug everybody; couldn’t seem to wipe the sappy grin off my face.

Davina Haisell spills the beans about surviving the 3 day novel contest, and living to tell the tale

I wanted to write about my ‘distress’ and I wanted to do it now, while it was fresh. But I had no obvious outlet… What I realised was this.  I didn’t need to write a long personal piece, short story or, god forbid these days, a poem. I just needed a line or two. A gesture. But more importantly, it had to work as a piece of writing.

Iain Broome at Write for Your Life talks us through how to forget your distress and focus on your writing.

Writing is one of the few tasks in which focusing on the end result can hinder rather than help. You cannot sit down to write a New York Times bestseller or a viral blog post. Initially it is you and the story, whatever that story may be. When you have told the story then you allow the readers to help you refine and polish it.

Karen Swim on on how writing for your readers can be a bad idea.

I was given permission to pace myself if I wanted but a funny thing happened on the way to the easy chair. I was swept over by the write mood.

George Angus from Tumblemoose on getting into the write mood.

My previous writing method was to agonize over every word, not putting anything down until I had a complete thought.  I also had to have the next sentence lined up and ready to go.  As you can imagine, this made for some slow (if any) progress.

A linked piece from George Angus on getting out of your own writing way.  (George gets two mentions for reminding me of the look of a fire breathing writing dragon.  Cheers George!)

He waited a moment as if considering whether to thank me or thump me. Then he grabbed a box of porridge, snorted, and offered me his verdict.

This one has nothing to do with writing, other than that it’s a great example of good writing at work.

Advice From a Probably Axe Murderer from Nick Cernis

Last off, not reading this time but a bit of writing from me.  It’s a piece I contributed in response to the poetry invitation from Abbey of the Arts, to write about autumn blessings.  I hope you like it.


He smiles to see them,
like the bards of old,
penning poems in 140,
cropping photos of colour,
posting updates of light change,
crafting blog posts of falling,
typing haikus of wonder,
sharing mysteries in poem fests,
painting web words of autumn,
claiming hashtags of
and #mellowfruitfulness
yes, it makes him smile,
to see them,
like the bards of old,
declaring love lines of the season,
quite unable to resist.


What gems have you been reading recently?

PS I’ve given the link to the Twitter profile of the authors in question.  If you’re on Twitter and want to connect up with me too, you’ll find me at @joannapaterson.

PPS If you’re still looking for the belly dancers, you’ll need to check out the posts ;-)

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7 Responses to “Belly Dancers, Axe Murderers, and the Flame of the Writing Fire”

  1. On September 20, 2010 at 8:00 am Iain Broome responded with... #

    Hi Joanna - thanks for the mention! I really enjoyed this list of articles from a chap called Patrick Rhone, who curates the Minimal Mac blog. Don’t worry - the articles are all about writing!

  2. On September 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm John Soares
    Twitter: TheJohnSoares
    responded with... #

    Joanna, thanks for creating this excellent list. I especially liked Iain Broome’s piece. Very timely for me right now!
    John Soares´s last blog ..ProductiveWriterscom — Subscribe Now to My New Flagship SiteMy ComLuv Profile

  3. On September 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm Iain Broome responded with... #

    @John: Thanks! Very kind of you to say and glad it was useful.

  4. On September 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm George Angus responded with... #

    Yay Joanna!

    Thanks for the mention (s) :-)

    It feels great to be in a place of writing confidence.

    I’ll let you in on a little something. About a month ago I started having these visions of being in New York. I’ve never been there, but I can see myself walking into a tall glass and steel structure, I see myself on the plane there and it all seems so real. I know this has to do with my writing. These visions just randomly pop up and they are as vivid as anything I can remember.

    Who knows, right? Maybe a bunch of hoo-ey but I’m keeping in a positive and excited place about them.


    George Angus´s last blog ..Are You In The WayMy ComLuv Profile

  5. On September 20, 2010 at 9:03 pm Davina Haisell responded with... #

    Hi Joanna.
    I liked the imagery you used in the poem. Just like words falling off the trees instead of leaves :) “penning poems in 140,” — that was brilliant — Twitter 140 characters, right?

    Thank you for the mention and for the comment on that post. Appreciate your support.
    Davina Haisell´s last blog ..I Survived the 3-Day Novel ContestMy ComLuv Profile

  6. On September 24, 2010 at 12:03 am Diana responded with... #

    Does it count as online if it’s mobile? I downloaded my very first mobile ebook last night:

    “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex.”

    I know, it’s not for writing. It’s for reading! Sorry, my italics on the word ‘”the” woman’ did not work here.

    Your poem, as always, is lovely. You have a gift.

  7. On September 26, 2010 at 8:45 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Iain my pleasure - it’s been interesting to follow the comments in response to the ‘distress’ piece too. Thanks for the pointer to the other articles too.

    John the article seems to have resonated with people - me too ;-)

    George life is full of strange surprises… we don’t always know which path is going to take us to that place, but quite often end up there anyway. So good to see you in a place of writing confidence :-)

    Davina thanks for the feedback on the poem - I appreciate it. Hadn’t thought of the words falling like leaves, but that really does seem to be what happens, doesn’t it? And yes, 140 was the twitter reference - I love watching poems unfold there ;-) Congrats again on getting the novel written - hope you’re still floating! Will you be doing NaNoWriMo?

    Diana yes it counts, and what is writing if not for reading?! Thanks for your words about my poem… so much appreciated


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