Saturday, 11 August 2012


I haven't been blogging because I have been watching the Olympics. Glued to the TV and clutching two iPads, I have missed very little, but there are lulls. In those I read on the iPad. I have an app called Flipboard. It keeps popping up on other people’s must have lists, so I am in good company. It allows you to pick up feeds from all sorts of other sources, see the picture to get the idea. 

Being lazy, I rather like having all that stuff gathered together on one page and kept up to date for me.
Among other things, I get a feed from the New Yorker. If I subscribed to the paper magazine I know I would never read it all and masses of paper would clutter up the house. On Flipboard I get a selection, made by someone else, so I’m probably missing something, but it is constantly refreshed, with no waste paper and therefore guilt free.
As a side effect, I also get emails from the New Yorker with links to other morsels of wisdom and humour. Among those I found a piece called “Everything is Fiction” from Keith Ridgway [born October 2, 1965 is a Dublin-born award-winning writer. He lives in Dublin after living in the UK for many years, Faber & Faber]
In the midst of a piece where he says he doesn’t know what he is doing –
I don’t know how to write. Which is unfortunate, as I do it for a living.’
He says -
‘I know how to wait until the last minute before putting anything on paper. I mean the last minute before the thought leaves me forever. I know how to leave out anything that looks to me—after a while—forced, deliberate, or fake. I know that I need to put myself in the story. I don’t mean literally. I mean emotionally. I need to care about what I’m writing—whether about the characters, or about what they’re getting up to, or about the way they feel or experience their world. I know that my job is to create a perspective. And to impose it on the reader. And I know that in order to do that with any success at all I must in some mysterious way risk everything. If I don’t break my own heart in the writing of a book then I know I’ve done it wrong. I’m not entirely sure what that means. But I know what it feels like.’
If that doesn’t capture what you need to do as a writer, I’m not sure what does. You can read the rest of the piece at: