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Monday, August 17, 2015

On Writing - by Natalie Simpson

I don’t know how to write at home anymore. My home is so unpeopled – it’s a place of busy work and distraction, of cooking and tidying, of immersion into books and blogs and shows. Home is for the steady work of editing and formatting, the after-writing.

Writing for me takes place in a buzz of public enactment, through claiming quiet space amid cacophony. Writing is learning how to block out other people’s conversations, to hew to the page. I write only at tables, in coffee shops, pubs, occasionally airports or food courts. I write where the social conventions of staking out an interest in a chair and table or countertop prohibit wandering. To be in public is to be rooted and employed – if not in eating or speaking, then in reading and writing. I need to be bound in to write. I need blinkers.

Continue reading the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter

ED: Oh, I seem too easily distracted to work in a café or library. I take notes when I'm out and about, sure, but write something longer only alone. Is it a man/woman thing? I've noticed women in workshops happily write in the company of each other, while the men shrink from it or write 'out of character'.

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