I’ve been having a massive clear-out of my home office, and to ease the pain of this essentially hideous task, I’ve been listening to online author interviews, which has been a massive treat — it’s been like having my very own writing guru radio channel.
There are tons of free writing hints, tips and stories on YouTube, and sometimes it’s just great to hear a few favourite authors talk. Some of these interviews have inspired me to try to be a better person, all of them have inspired me to write, and others have been instructive in how, what, or why to write on a particular theme or subject.
I’ve been especially excited to find skilled, inspiring women in their forties and fifties successfully launching new careers and seeking new directions – Edith Eger, Kit de Waal, Michelle Obama – amazing, community-minded people making a real difference in the world through their stories and projects. They give me courage and hope that I can still harness the energy, skills and experiences to explore new avenues and make a positive difference.
Here are a few of my favourites (I’ll be adding to the list; come back again).
By author surname:
NCWGF 2016 – Masterclass by Kit de Waal – The Art of Trespass (2016 – 1 hour 5 min). Lecture presenting the context of appropriation in changing political landscapes, followed by talk on writing as a working class writer.
Kit de Waal on The Trick to Time (2018 – 6 min). Capturing moments, grief and loss, and things of great meaning. Love this interview.
What my mama told me: Edith Eva Eger at TEDxLaJolla (2014 – 12 min). I made it to 2:59 before I literally started sobbing. Honest to God, if this woman can be this woman then we humans have the potential to do almost anything.
Eimear McBride talks about A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2014 – 5 min). Some interesting points on writing confidence and not knowing the ending till you get there.
Oprah Winfrey Presents: Becoming Michelle Obama (2018 – 42 min). Again, a strong emphasis on a continual journey. Also on failure, ‘Failure is a feeling long before it becomes an actual result.’ I love her. I just love her.
Michelle Obama discusses her new book “Becoming” – Part I and Part II and Part III (2018 – 9+5+10 mins in three parts).
Annie Proulx on ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2011 – 5 min).
Annie Proulx interview (1999 – 22 min) on Wyoming as her writing landscape, on collaboration between author and illustrator, and on the architecture of stories.
JK Rowling Harvard Commencement Speech (June 2008 – 24 min).
Oprah interviews J K Rowling (Aug 2015 – 50 min). On her Harvard speech, “I used to be borderline phobic about public speaking.” Rowling talks about failure, how hitting rock bottom liberates you from fear of failure.
NEWSNIGHT: Kirsty Wark interviews author Donna Tartt about ‘The Goldfinch’ (2013 – 7 min). On writing anywhere, always taking a notebook, and deleting 8 months’ work.