How AL Kennedy writes @Writerer #amwriting #writetip

AL Kennedy on spending time with a Harris hawk; thanks to the man who decorated her mother’s bathroom who was also a falconer: “I have no idea if or when I will make use of Mr Hawk, but he will have rattled something somewhere which will eventually rattle something else and meanwhile it was a blast to meet him.” 
[from ‘On Writing’ by AL Kennedy] 

AL Kennedy


I love this story from On Writing, AL Kennedy’s book about her life as a writer and based on the blog she writes for the Guardian newspaper. I love it because it demonstrates how authors collect ideas like squirrels store nuts and that the process can, perhaps should, be enjoyable. Given an unexpected opportunity [the decorator/falconer] Kennedy grabbed it and stored away the observations, the experience, the emotions, for another time. It may appear in her writing in any number of ways but on the day she saw Mr Hawk she had no plans. She goes on to protest, mildly, that the day spent with Mr Hawk was for purely professional reasons. ‘It’s not fun with Mr Hawk – it’s work’.

Researching becomes enjoyable; a treat, even. Surely this is reflected on the page when the experience finds its way into one of her books.


See how these other authors write:-
Sara Baume, on the panic of answering PR questions
AJ Pearce, on immersing herself in the 1940s
Why George Saunders believes irregular habits avoid blandness

Read my reviews of Day, Serious Sweet and All the Rage, by AL Kennedy.

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why #author @Writerer believes researching can be ‘treats’ #amwriting via @SandraDanby