I’m running an occasional series with creative people I admire who have a spark of unique “dive-into-life”-ness that I think we could all learn from.
This week Kate Grenville is my guest. Kate is one of Australia’s best-known authors, having written eight books of fiction and four books about the writing process. Her best-known works are the international best-seller The Secret River (my Mum’s favourite book) The Idea of Perfection, The Lieutenant and Lilian’s Story, which I reckon every kid of my generation read at school. Her latest book is Sarah Thornhill…you might’ve read it? Her novels have won many awards both in Australia and the UK, several have been made into major feature films, and all have been translated into European and Asian languages.
She shares some lovely thoughts on how she does what she does….
Some points I loved:
* She doesn’t wait for inspiration. She just sits and writes and trusts that this process alone will produce.
* She writes to a routine. She sets the alarm for 5:30 and writes for an hour. She doesn’t care what comes out, but again trusts that some of it will be useable. She then goes back and collates all the bits and pieces and jig-saws them together.
* She writes longhand first. As she says, in the first draft you must be able to “make a fool of yourself” and the intimacy and privacy of writing with pen and paper allows for this. When we type straight into a computer, we’re in the mindset of writing for the audience.
* She believes that creativity is about risk taking. Creativity is right on the edge – which also means sometimes you might fail, but you need to learn to live with a bit of failure. She says it might always ‘feel’ like failure, but in the end, hopefully it won’t be.
* Make sure you listen to the end and hear her thoughts on perfume and fragranced products. This is how she got in touch with me – she learned I was on the same anti-fragrance wagon.
Do these tips help you with your creativity? Do any of you still write longhand?!