'Writing As…,' offers the vision of writing not only as a necessarily professional domain but also as a natural skill you can always pleasantly elaborate on – to become more observant, boost your memory, share your insights with the world, and have fun.
Olga Bubich, the author of the course, says:
‘Our perception of written texts may have probably undergone some transformations, but our love for literature is still here. We continue to use this channel of communication to tell stories and leave traces – skills that appear to be timeless.’
Each lecture lasts ~30 mins and finishes up with a practical assignment based on the tools introduced in the lesson.
From lecture to lecture, you’ll be introduced to some of the “writing tools” borrowed from different reputable English-speaking sources. You will move from theory to practice and get exciting (but realistic) assignments that would help you keep your new knowledge - literally - at your fingertips. A corpus of examples comes from classic novels, poems, essays and sometimes also songs and, hopefully, will make you enjoy the magic of creative writing even more.
A laptop, an ipad or a mobile phone to listen and watch the lectures. A laptop is preferable for working with larger fragments of texts shown in the lectures. Pen/pencil/mobile phone for taking notes.
In this lecture, I share a few curious facts from memory studies that will help you better understand the indisputable connection between our recollections and texts, and explain why I see in the senses that register our memories the first “writing tool”.
Inspired by Roy Peter Clark, I dwell on the role of details in producing compelling texts, briefly analyzing some examples from Turkish, American, Persian, and Belarusian texts. Why should we “get the name of the dog” and how can Sophie Calle’s curiosity help here?
In Lecture 3, I remind you of the definition of one of the most popular “writing tools” used by writers and journalists across the globe – S. I. Hayakawa’s ladder of abstraction. Using the examples from Dickens, Hemingway, ABBA and formal bureaucratic context, we will trace how the principles of “ladder climbing” work or, vice versa, fail to work.
Composition as balance/ratio between the text and blank space of the page is not something that is often considered as a writing “tool”, meanwhile it was successfully used by writers in different historical periods to reenforce their messages. Checking the compositions in Simmias’, Carroll’s, Tolstoy’s, and Aronzon’s writings, we will try to feel the potential of visual rhythm and counting the words in Olivia Laing’s sentences – hear the compelling prose rhythm.
In this lecture, we will get inspired by Lynne Truss’ ironical approach to English punctuation and explore the power of commas, colons, and semicolons as extra “writing tools” able to add (or destroy) the writer’s message.
In the final lecture of “Writing As…” course, we dwell on the importance
of the writing mood, mental space and focus and, together with Virginia Woolf, Hayao Miyazaki, and Jenny Odell, explore the spaces that might help you find them, by resisting capitalism, taking care of yourself and – hopefully – slowing down your perception of time.
The playlist of adequacy was created to help a person be less critical of themselves, get out of the captivity of confusing and condemning thoughts and choose to accept their personal mental processes. You do not need to do anything about who you are; it is important to just stop interfering with yourself.
As you listen to the playlist, spontaneous discoveries occur — that’s what makes it so useful. You can pause the track and just think about what has resonated with you.
The information that the tracks are filled with shows non-trivial ways to look at yourself and the world around you; it expands vision and feeling, and is tuned in to greater self-trust. This is not a dry psychological enlightenment, but an essence of various views and trends, which I managed to combine and present through a personal prism. The listening itself is a bit like meditation. Also, the tracks have a transformational effect similar to planting seeds. As soon as the soil is ready, they will definitely sprout. At a minimum, much of what you will hear about in the playlist will be quite refreshing for you!
You will learn to:
- listen to yourself and follow your values,
- treat yourself with more care and kindness,
- cope with difficult thoughts,
- distinguish reality from thoughts,
- understand your desires,
- bring clarity about your boundaries.
On an individual signature in space as a sign of clarity about yourself; on accepting inner poles to create a holistic identity; on integration of alienated parts of yourself.
On freedom consistent with the context; on primary and secondary integrity as navigation tools along a person’s individual route; on abstract inner beliefs in the consciousness and their real consequences in life.
On the assembly point of consciousness capable of spontaneous and planned dynamics; on getting stuck in certain subpersonal dynamics and the consequences of this; on the state of the “observer” as a position outside of black and white thinking, striving for contact with internal and external reality.
On the ability to accept contextual constraints while maintaining internal integrity; on weakness as part of each person’s individual cycle; on the actual needs and position of an adult who creates a holiday for themselves; on interpretations of reality.
On the acceptance of change which is based on the experience consistent with the context, but open to external and internal dynamics; on anxiety and its compensatory strategy - control; on the center of the inner space; on the search for inner support: modern and historical context.
On the liberation from ‘burnouts’ in spheres of life with the focus of attention; on the stages of the creative process; on incubation as the most important stage of creative thinking and a way of trusting life; on the race for insights.
On personal goals in tune with the values that resonate with a person’s soul; on the difference between goals and values; on limiting beliefs; on excessive confidence in one’s thoughts; on choosing a not so positive, but realistic interpretation of events.
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The course was created within the media-educational project "Support in Arts" which is a series of interviews, publications, essays, educational courses and events from representatives of the Belarusian art community and art educators who work in various fields of art (illustration, design, modern dance, visual art, fashion, modern poetry and prose, photography, music, cinema) and interpret the modern context in their practices.
in partnership with