Happy Birthday, Andrew Motion, born 26 October 1952
Andrew Motion: On Writing
- Decide when in the day (or night) it best suits you to write, and organise your life accordingly.
- Think with your senses as well as your brain.
- Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary.
- Lock different characters/elements in a room and tell them to get on.
- Remember there is no such thing as nonsense.
- Bear in mind Wilde’s dictum that “only mediocrities develop” – and challenge it.
- Let your work stand before deciding whether or not to serve.
- Think big and stay particular.
- Write for tomorrow, not for today.
- Work hard.
- Poems are a hotline to our hearts, and we forget this emotional power at our peril.
- I'm also a great believer in the dream life; that while we're asleep, a deep subconscious connection is made about our profoundest fears, hopes, loves, losses, dreads and desires.
- I've always thought that the balance between the side of my mind that knows what it is doing and the side that really hasn't got a clue has to be carefully maintained because if you write too knowingly then you get chilly, and if you write too unknowingly you write bollocks that nobody else can understand.
- If I were to die thinking that I'd written three poems that people might read after me, I would feel that I hadn't lived in vain. Great poets might expect the whole body of their work, but most of us - well, I would settle for a handful.
- In a fragile environment, we need to be aware of ourselves as members of a uniquely powerful species living among other species who are quite as interesting as we are but vulnerable to us because we are cleverer in more destructive ways.
Sir Andrew Motion was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009.
Source for Writing Tips: Guardian
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