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How does living abroad influence our writing?
Category: Writing
Tags: writing abroad blog

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL! And sorry this is late...

I live in Hong Kong and as I was travelling home today two schoolchildren (presumably brother and sister) got on the MTR and sat near me. Actually the boy – younger – sat and the girl stood. Several questions popped into my head:  

  • Which country were they, or their parents, from?
  • Which language were they speaking?
  • Why was the younger boy sitting? Was this due to cultural/family beliefs? Or had he raced her to the seat, and won?

These questions led me to think about multicultural societies in general. Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations would not have lived in amongst such a plethora of different people and cultures. Travel used to be reserved only for the wealthy upper classes. And it may be that in the future travel will become too expensive with oil prices continually rising. So do we currently live in a golden era of travel? And how does all of the above influence our writing?

Travel writing and writers aside, I still believe that seeing such an array of people in a multitude of different environments must consciously or subconsciously change how we write about the world. I’ve heard someone say that you can’t write about the city that you live in and for me that could be true because I still predominantly write about Western culture. However, I also believe that living abroad has changed my writing, albeit subtly until now. My main focus is people, in life as well as writing, and I see so many people every day.

How about you? Does where you live, or the people you’ve met abroad, influence your writing? 

This Week on Writers Abroad 5 January
Category: Site News

What are you waiting for? It’s one of Marit’s intriguing prompts, but could equally apply to this post. Sorry for the delay. Marit’s other mix and match prompts sound fun, so there’s no excuse for not starting the year with a Muse. That was your resolution, wasn’t it?

Laura's Blog is relevant to us all and ponders how living abroad influences our writing. How do the place you live in and the people you meet inspire you? 

 

The votes for the 2015 anthology have been cast and it was close, with non-fiction (sadly for me) narrowly missing out. So it’s all go for short stories and poetry. Now it’s just the theme to be decided, and it looks like “Light” is in with a chance.

 

Thanks to everyone who has sent in their contributions for the magazine. We’re getting there! I’ll send out an update on contributions before Sunday’s formal chat — how’s that for an inspired link.

 

I’m sure we are all resolved to write more and be successful in 2015. But then we already are pretty good. Just look at the full bookcase on the home page and feel proud.

 

Who’s next for the bragging stool?

Crilly's Blog for 29/12/14
Category: Writing
Tags: New Year's Resolutions

As 2015 is fast approaching I think it is fair to assume some of us will be thinking about New Year Resolutions. No doubt, some of the old chestnuts, I will get fit, I will eat less and in our case, I will write more, still apply.

This caused me to think about the health of writers. How this sedentary career / hobby which holds us captive in front of a computer screen for hours; and therefore, what effect does this have on the body?

Is our eyesight affected? What about those poor shoulders? Are they aching after hours spent hunched over?

Do we drink too much coffee, tea or wine when writing late into the night?  With that coffee, tea or wine, do we reward ourselves with a piece of cake or cheese and biscuits ...after all the thousand words  just laboured over were especially brilliant – weren’t they?

The thirty minute walk you promised yourself after eliminating the unnecessary adjectives was forgotten as you madly red-penned the adverbs too. The little voice that whispers, ‘A walk would do you good.’ How often is that ignored?

 I went looking for information and found in addition to the downsides, there is plenty to be gained from writing. Said to reduce stress and blood pressure, writing improves the mood and gives a greater sense of psychological well- being. Membership of writing groups both online and actual offers a sense of belonging and the support of like-minded people can be viewed as an additional benefit.

Whilst researching items for this blog that I stumbled upon an article written by Professor James Pennebaker from the University of Texas, Austin. Pennebaker believes in the power of writing to heal and his research shows that writers who write regularly go to the doctor less, have a stronger immune system and when their stress levels fall, their health improves.

http://www.utexas.edu/features/archive/2005/writing.html

(If you have a moment, I recommend a most interesting clip on YouTube by Professor James Pennebaker called ‘The Secret Life of Pronouns.’  It is quite fascinating. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGsQwAu3PzU

In 2013, a New Zealand study was conducted on the power of ‘Expressive Writing’  to help heal wounds, the results were astounding.

“Researchers in New Zealand investigated whether expressive writing could help older adults heal faster after a medically necessary biopsy. In the study, 49 healthy adults aged 64 to 97 years wrote about either upsetting events or daily activities for 20 minutes, three days in a row. After a time lag of two weeks, to make sure any initial negative feelings stirred up by recalling upsetting events had passed, all the subjects had a biopsy on the arm, and photographs over the next 21 days tracked its healing. On the 11th day, 76 percent of the group that did expressive writing had fully healed as compared with 42 percent of the control group.”

This passage was taken from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/writing-can-help-injuries-heal-faster/

 

In conclusion, here’s to a very happy 2015 and now we know how healthy writing makes us ...there is no excuse, back to work my friends!

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