“I’ll begin with the standard disclaimer. I am a writer and a reader, and that’s about it. I’m not a scholar or a literary theoretician, and any such notions that have wandered into this book [blog] have got there by the usual writerly methods, which resemble the ways of the jackdaw: we steal the shiny bits, and build them into the structures of our own disorderly nests.”
~Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing
Welcome to the New Year. With New Years, come new things. Resolutions tend to be the dominating feature–“I shall blah-dah-de-blah…” Here at Place for the Stolen there is a facelift and some content refinement.
I’ve come to a couple conclusions regarding this blog. First off, it is and will always be a blog about writing. However, there are tons of blogs out in this world that talk about writing–how to build a platform, marketing, e-readers, publishing, etc. You will find most of these fantastic resources on the sidebar to your left. I’ve decided that I won’t comment on these subjects (too much) until I gain more experience in them.
My strength, you’ll find, comes from stealing things. Or, at least, recognizing what should be stolen and applied to writing. For example, as Margaret Atwood says above, learning how to write (and if you consider yourself a writer you’ll quickly learn that the best you can ever be is a serious student of writing) is about collecting the good, shiny bits from the writers who have gone before you–and building your own nest.
The best way that I can figure to do this is through mentors. Reading selections of work, reflecting on various writers’ styles, and dissecting my own thoughts regarding philosophies of writing, and how they relate to my life, are important to understanding (my understanding anyway) the ‘how-to’ of this writing gig.
There will six mentors this year–every two months the mentors will change. You’ll find the line up below. I’m going to read these authors (some of whom I’ve never read up until now) and report back on my findings. If you’ve followed this blog for any period of time, you know that I’ve often had mentors. However, mentors will now be the dominant feature of this blog.
Please join me in sounding off on published, legendary writers–tell me what you’ve learned from them, what you think might be overrated about them, and whatever else comes into your writerly mind!
And now, the Mentors for 2011:
- Virginia Woolf: January-February
- P.G. Wodehouse: March-April
- Agatha Christie: May-June
- Jack Kerouac: July-August
- Margaret Atwood: September-October
- Neil Gaiman: November-December
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.