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Applying the rules of art to writing: learn to speak about your work

“This not only helps those who are looking at your work to understand what you are trying to achieve but also is critical to your own understanding of what you are doing. Avoid trying to interpret your own motivations or what may lie behind your work. This is an invitation to mislead yourself or read into the work something that is not there. The work is the starting point, and ending point, of its content.” Excerpt from ‘101 Things to Learn in Art School’ by Kit White We writers are good at being on our own, developing our ideas in isolation, so it does not come naturally to talk freely about our work. But we must, in order to get it published and to promote it. “What’s it about,” is the first question an interviewer will ask. “What inspired you?” is the next question. If we don’t know the answers, we will feel stupid and look stupid and the overall impression will be that we and our work is stupid. Kit White’s advice to artists holds true too for writers. Thankfully as an editor I had to do a fair bit of public speaking, at conferences, at training groups, radio
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Categories: On Writing.