Hastings LitFest Blog #1

The question raised by the tagline “Writing for Writers” is, what is a writer? Can you call yourself a writer if all you’ve written are a few blog posts and some tweets that you’ve been quite proud of? If ‘yes’ then even I am one… although proper writers like Joanne Harris [1] set the bar a little higher and I’ll certainly refer you to her writer’s manifesto: https://paperneverland.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/joanne-harriss-a-writers-manifesto/.

You don’t have to be a published author or have a bylined column in a newspaper to be a writer, but you do have to have the urge to write and to actually, actively, write, which is the hard part.

There are lots of people who’ll tell you how (or how not) to write: by all means read George Orwell and his six rules , but Elmore Leonard’s list goes up to ten and includes the word ”hooptedoodle”, which obviously means his is better.

Spending your time reading rules made by proper authors is one of the many ways you can avoid writing. Others include: arguing with racists on Twitter, clicking on things that say “You’ll be Amazed at What The Dukes Of Hazzard’s Tom Wopat is Doing Now!” [2] and, apparently, Emptying The Tumble Drier. George Eliot only had to overcome Looking Out Of The Window and Having Cold Fingers, so she had it easy by comparison. I’m sure you can find your own writing-avoidance strategies: why not tell us about them in the comments in my my personal blog?

Footnotes

[1] Incidentally, that’s some good early work there by me in a blog about the Hastings LitFest, your blogger quoting an author who is not only not appearing at the LitFest, but of whom I can find no record of any connection to Hastings. In this respect she resembles the great Victorian author George Gissing who spookily probably also shares with her the same number of steps to Kevin Bacon.
[2] Nothing good, apparently.

First Hastings LitFest

31 August – 2 September, 2018

Hastings will soon be home to a literary festival like no other. The event, which has been set up by writers and is aimed at writers of all abilities, features a programme that will delight anyone with a love of books and writing, from workshops and talks by prominent authors to live performances, book sales and signings, and competitions open to all. Whether you are an aspiring author or would just like to try your hand at poetry or songwriting, HASTINGS Litfest will not only connect you with like-minded individuals, it also offers the chance of getting some professional advice and inspiration. The festival is embedded in the historic town of Hastings and events will take place at venues from the Old Town in Hastings – popular with artists and home to the Jerwood Gallery – to St Leonards.

Comfort is the enemy of achievement 2

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