While I was in Sharjah, I spoke about a lot of different aspects of reading and writing. I had three different workshops, each of which I ran four times with audiences of different sizes and ages. But in every session I tried to leave participants with the same two messages: read every day and write every day. These messages are as important for adults as they are for children, whatever you want to do in life.
But, of course, the message is even more important if you want to be a writer. You can only be a writer if you write. And, although the lesson is one I have to remind myself of often, the value of writing every day is immense.
But how do you get motivated and stay motivated to write every day? In this video, James Clear, an expert on habit formation, is really well worth watching.
Good huh? If you don’t have time to watch it now, I suggest you go back and watch it another time. There’s a lot of really good takeaways.
To sum it up, though, right near the end is a message which is one I have used before and will use again: if you want to be a writer BE a writer. Don’t just say you want to be a writer, believe that you are. And the best way you can believe that about yourself, is to write. Every day.
I already try to do this, but I’m going to ramp this up using what Clear calls ‘The Seinfeld Method’. And if you want to know more about that, watch the video.
Have a great day.
It’s Friday, which means it’s time for Poetry Friday – the first one for 2017 and my first one for a while, having had a busy end to 2016. My resolution for 2017 is to smile more, but I’m also thinking this means I should be trying to make other people smile, so I am going to try to share more poetry this year.
It’s Summer here in Australia, which means trips to the beach, swims in the pool, beautiful blue skies – I could go on. I love summer. But one thing I don’t like is the smell of rubbish bins left out in the sun. On one of my recent beach trips I stopped to put something in the bin. The smell when I lifted the lid was gross: bait, food, rubbish of all kinds. It was like the worst belch ever. It reminded me of this poem, which I wrote a few years back.
you seem so harmless
I approach with caution.
when I lift that lid
will overpower me
as you belch
last week’s fish
and yesterday’s onions.
(Copyright Sally Murphy 2017)
Gross hey? Instead of a photo of a stinky bin, I offer you this completely unrelated but pretty awesome video of a dolphin which came to check me out recently. It was a magic moment.
Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Teacher Dance. Head there later for the roundup check out the other poetry goodness on off on the blogosphere.
In the meantime, have a great Friday.
In the back of each book in the Sage Cookson series there is a recipe, which you can make at home. The recipe at the back of Sage Cookson’s Sweet Escape is for Cheat’s Chocolate Fondant. Today I am super-excited because my publisher has produced a video showing you just how easy this recipe is to make.
I’ve been reading and thinking about verse novels lately, and the way that lots of smaller poems can weave a narrative. So, for Poetry Friday today I thought I would share the opening poem from my own verse novel, Pearl Verses the World.
Sometimes I think
That I am on an island –
A deserted one
With just a single coconut tree.
Other days I think
I’m trapped in a bubble
Floating aimlessly through a void.
Whereever I am
No one sees me.
(Copyright Sally Murphy 2009, 2016)
This poem came to me late one night as I was getting into bed. I grabbed a piece of paper and jotted it down. It was only later that I realised that this wasn’t only a stand-alone poem – it was the start of a story, a story which insisted on being told. And so it evolved into a verse novel.
At the start of this book trailer (which was my first ever attempt at such a thing) you can hear the poem read aloud, by Murphlet 6.
Ever since that poem came to me, I’ve been really grateful that it chose me – and that Pearl, the voice in the poem, chose me to tell her story. The book has been published in Australia, the United States and England (under the title Pearl) and was made into a play by the Jigsaw Theatre Company. Most importantly, it’s been read and loved by children and by adults, some of whom didn’t even realise that the book was poetry – which is fine by me (I call it poetry by stealth).
What was the last verse novel you read? If you’ve never read one, maybe it’s time you tried one for yourself.
If, like John in my book Toppling, you are fascinated by domino toppling, you might be wowed by this amazing topple I came across recently. 128000 dominoes and two world records.
Or, you might like this one – which has a whopping 500 000 dominoes and three world records. I prefer the first simply because of the film quality, which is a shame because there are some amazing feats of toppling in this one: