on writing

This is a wonderful article about writing – excerpts from a speech Waleed Aly gave at the opening of the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne last night.

From the article:

Invariably, the text and the author embark on a process of constant negotiation. Each brings to the task its own imperatives. One need not be a disciple of Barthes to acknowledge that a piece of writing is an independent creation with a life of its own. Anyone who has written knows there are times in the composition of a text when the text fights back. It generates its own demands of structure, and even content. It is every freelancer’s nightmare to pitch an idea to an editor only to discover that the text does not permit it. We delude ourselves thinking we are masters of our work. To an extent, texts author themselves and we are their conduits.

Someone asked me recently whether i determined my theology by whether it was poetic when i wrote it down. i think perhaps i do.


  1. kent

    brilliant cheryl! what does ‘poetic’ mean if not:

    beautiful, dramatic, imaginative, creative, grace-full, musical, satisfying, truthful

    what a brilliant way to ‘detemine’ theology!!!

    great stuff – love it.

  2. bec

    Cheryl, he’s finally gone full-time as a writer, so expect more of this eloquence!

  3. bec

    by the way…I want to add that while I love Waleed’s language in that article, I think there’s a lot of very unconvincing assertions in there!

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