Clearing out junk and listening to author interviews

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.

Edith Eger on BBC Woman’s Hour (2018). Two minutes of brilliant advice. “I will never stop climbing.”
BBC Woman’s Hour: Radio episode: 49:22 (Oct 2018 – 8 min).

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.

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