Friday, 14 August 2009

A meme about the write stuff

I've been tagged by Spinning Plates (thank you!!) and she even offered the choice between two memes, which is great because I'd already done one of them. So here's another one, all about writing, which really got me thinking because I've never really analysed my own writing, I generally just blurt stuff out. As if you hadn't noticed... The original Call Yourself a Writer challenge was set by Linda over at You've got Your Hands Full.

Which words do you use too much in your writing?

you see, actually, however, but

Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
outraged (I have to read this work a lot at work, and I'm getting seriously sick of it), strategic, drilling it down - all of these words are work related ;) I do like my work though, don't get me wrong!

What's your favourite piece of writing by you?
As part of my PhD thesis I wrote a chapter on musical gypsies in classical and romantic German literature. It was my favourite chapter of my thesis, I loved the topic and it was the only piece of academic writing that ever made a lasting impression when presented. I even got it published. I also wrote an academic paper on political songwriting in Ireland, on "Going Down to Dublin Town" by Damien Dempsey, which was fun (I don't actually think it was very good, just enjoyable). I'm pretty happy I wrote my PhD thesis but it was such a long and draining process that I can't even tell if it's good or not. Oops, that's three pieces. Sorry.

What blog post do you wish you'd written?
Too many to count. Generally anything by Noble Savage and Chris Cleave. Does Chris Cleave count as a blogger? He's got a blog but really he writes a column for the Guardian which he then puts on his blog. Whatever. He's seriously funny. There are other bloggers whose writing I admire but wouldn't consider wanting to have written any of their posts, simply because their style is very different to mine and I like them for that - without ever aspiring to write like them. Whereas the two bloggers mentioned have a style I'd like to be able to write in if I was a better writer, Noble Savage for convincing and passionate opinion pieces and Chris Cleave for his humour. Oh I wish I could write funny. It's just that I'm German and can't help not having a sense of humour.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?
I tend to regret writing things that cause offence, even if the offence wasn't intended. When a post or part thereof is misunderstood or interpreted in a different way. I hate to alienate, always striving for consensus. Of course I know that this is a very futile strive. So really I wish I'd never have any regrets.

How has your writing made a difference? What do you consider your most important piece of writing?
How do you define difference? I hope that my writing has brought ideas and new perspectives to readers, raised awareness and brought some entertainment, maybe even started a discussion. I don't think any of my writing has really made a massive difference. I still hope it may have or may do in the future.

Name three favourite words
resplander, mono, arcoiris (they have to be Spanish because I just love the sound of Spanish)

...And three words you're not so keen on
ehm, don't know (I meant I don't really know, come to think of it, these three words are actually pretty rubbish)

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
Not so much of a mentor or role model, but lots of writers I admire. Anne Enright, Sebastian Barry, Niall Toibin, Seamus Heaney, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Julio Ramon Ribeyro, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jose Maria Arguedas are among my favourites, and I'm sure I've left out a few. As you can see, I like literature...

What's your writing ambition?
Do I have one? I really just blog for fun, I used to have an ambition for journalistic writing but my blog is more than enough for the kind of writing I want to do. My ambition is more to improve my writing, to use my writing for creating networks around issues that I care about, and to have a place for stuff and views that don't always get into the spotlight in the traditional media.

Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:
Chris Cleave, "The Other Hand" ("Little Bee" on the US market). You must read that book.

The rules:
If you have time to do this meme, then please link to Linda's original, then link to three to five other bloggers and pass it on, asking them to answer your questions and link to me. You can add, remove or change one question as you go. You absolutely do not have to be what you may think of as a "published" or "successful" writer to respond to this meme, I hope people can take the time to reflect on what their blogging has brought them and how it has been useful to others.

And I link to a few newly discovered blogs that I really enjoy reading:

Nature With Me
Crafting a Green World
Craft Hope
Intrepidly Bilingual

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