Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Looking for lonely island #artofeducation

"I took a step back and was watching people, watching how everybody reacted" says the science fiction author Peter V. Brett, leans back and writes his bestselling book about 9/11 while other people are freaking out and going mad of horror. Instead of following the crowd in their emotions, he decides to behave rationally, and write.
I read somewhere that the best time to write is when you first arrive at a new place, whether that’s a new country, city, or even restaurant. Everything is fresh and new and strange. You don’t have those lenses over your eyes that tell you what to ignore and what to notice. We writers can be social misfits. While sometimes that’s uncomfortable, it gives us a creative edge. When you’re an outsider, you see things others don’t.
This is an excerpt of Joe Bunting´s handbook for writing "The Write Practice: 14 Prompts"(2011:17) that he shares free of charge via his homepage The lines what I chose were actually a small part of Joe ´s first exercise for writers. He suggest to write about the "out of space" experiences, the awkward moments when we feel misplaced, uncomfortable (ibid.).

Why is the distance important?

Getting a distance requires you to "transcend the immediate moment in your mind" explains Maria Konnikova referring to the work of psychologist Yaacov Trope. In her recent book "How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: The Value of Creativity and Imagination" she goes even further, and claims that "[o]ne of the most important ways to facilitate imaginative thinking is through distance."

To get distance is nowadays becoming quite a challenge, because we are actually getting more and more connected to each other. For writers, it means creating a distance in a very conscious way, it means choosing to be alone, choosing the strange situations, new places, cutting off from mass communication and think or work in solitude.

There are people writing together in groups but at least I have never yet experienced, that it is possible to compose a good sentence in a room filled with people who are communicating with me. Writing is much more fruitful in a lonely island. I am living in a small village surrounded by the sea, forests, small cliffs and open fields in Sweden. Sometimes I feel it is not distant enough.

#slowtwitter to find a lonely island

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