The Need for Flexibility

Kieron Connolly with the October 9, 2010 edition
of the NRC Handelsblad Newspaper (Copyleft Avery Oslo)

In addition to the “write every day” and “create a routine” stuff by which so many other writers swear, Connolly stresses the need for flexibility. “There are many ways to get from start to finish,” he says. The key is to allow each project to be its own thing and deal with it in the way it ought to be dealt instead of tackling a uniform approach.(Kieron Connolly’s Newspaper Novel-Plotting Game)

This kernel of wisdom from Irish writer Kieron Connolly — the author of Water SignThere is A House and Harold — was harvested during a novel writing workshop at the American Book Center in The Hague by  Avery Oslo. It appealed to me for its candor and an almost unorthodox willingness to step away from the routine, routine, routine mantra which pervades much writerly advice.

Each new work is unique, and its creation may well require different routines, different methods and habits and rhythms than previous creations. This will to adapt the creative process per the needs of each new creation is not only more realistic than the systematic, procrustean assembly line model, it’s more exciting. Each new creative experience should be an adventure. A journey. An exploration. This is what makes creating and telling a story so damned interesting!

I wasn’t surprised that Avery Oslo (@AveryOslo on Twitter) had been inspired by Kieron Connolly, and yet I’ve never met either one. Chalk it up to Twitter. Again.

I don’t recall how I stumbled upon Oslo, but I suspect it may have been a retweet shared by a mutual acquaintance. A familiar “digital introduction”, followed by a visit to Avery Oslo’s blog where I read this:

I was raised by nomads (proper nomads. The kind that pick up and move every year at least once) and that makes me a native of nowhere (but also of everywhere!). I am most comfortable in mobile groups of other travelers and transplants. Everything I write addresses some aspect of being transient, at a crossroads, or otherwise in a state of flux. My characters often deal in the currencies of movement and future dreams. If you can relate to that, you might like what I write. (Avery Oslo)

I can relate to that!


After posting this blog, I received the following tweet, adding another interesting Twitter twist:


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