Kurt Vonnegut told his brother Bernie in a letter that ‘pictures are famous because of their humanness and not for their pictureness.’ His brother was worried about showing his work in public. Kurt goes on to say that contemplating a work of art is a social activity. And that if you want to know if your work is art or not, you must display it in public. The whole point is to have strangers look at it.
That’s a paraphrasing his words but what he is really saying is a work has to go out into the world on its own.
So that’s what I must think when I write my blogs.
The word is a contraction of ‘Memory Bank’. I used to write a journal at school in the 70s and then I lost touch with that side of my life. But nowadays, with all the issues of internet security, I have returned to writing by hand in ink on paper.
Memban is a place to talk about the different ways of capturing memories. I enjoy reading my old journals. There is something special about reliving memories, especially when written by hand.
I know people who buy journals but never write a word, afraid of committing their ideas to paper, especially those expensive leather-bound journals. They think of these pages as being much too precious for mere words. Or so they think.
So, in this blog, I discuss ways of producing material that matters to you so that you can fill those blank pages with confidence.
Writing everyday keeps the creative juices flowing. The journal becomes a source for ideas as well as an instrument for practising and refining writing skills and techniques, such as description, character delineation, and dialogue.
Begin there with what you find most interesting. Begin with anything that bothers you – be honest, be angry. Begin with what haunts you: it maybe a person you know, a newspaper story, a photograph, something you overheard on the bus.
When … happens (describe behaviour and actions) I feel … (describe reaction) because … (explain why I feel this way) What I imagine is … (if possible, show what I understand to be behind this behaviour) What I would prefer it is …(suggest an alternate way of behaving)