Friday, January 29, 2010

Writers Bureau revisited


Slack blogging around here since Christmas. Sorry about that- pressure of work, and a trip to a snowy Munich are to blame. You can see the view towards Odeonsplatz from the Englischer Garten in the new header - schön, oder?
It seems that Topsyturvydom's glorious victory against the mighty Writers Bureau was not the unalloyed success it first appeared to be. I'm grateful to Padraig Colman for his excellent and detailed account of the, er, service they provide. Padraig is clearly an accomplished writer, as his work on Sri Lanka shows, so it is a concern that his experience was so dispiriting - but not really a surprise. My attention was drawn to a defensive piece by a Writers Bureau tutor, Nick Daws, who, whilst agreeing that the school's publicity was misleading, says that "The Writers Bureau is a reputable organisation which in general offers a good service to its students" and finds them merely "lazy" in their inflated and erroneous claims. Padraig and I, and a number of other students, might differ with the author of Write any Book in Under 28 Days (what, really? Like, you know, Ulysses and stuff? Cool!)
There is a school of thought that suggests that writing, particularly of the creative ilk, can't really be taught. Here's A.L. Kennedy on that issue, and, as always with her, it's worth reading.
Image: Busymonster

2 comments:

Madame DeFarge said...

Hurrah to see you back. The joys of work are falling upon me rather heavily these days, so you have my sympathy. I am in search of the elusive work/life balance.

Rob Spence said...

Bonjour Madame. Yes, work-life balance. I was vouchsafed this brilliant advice by a member of the HR team on a (compulsory and time-consuming) management programme recently: "You don't have to have your phone on all the time." It's penetrating insights like these that entirely justify the salaries of those fine people.