Tim Dowling on how to write an article

Four years ago, on Monday, 11 December 2017, I attended a talk given by the Guardian columnist Tim Dowling at the Guardian newspaper headquarters in North London. Tim writes amusing observational articles about his life, which he calls ‘wonky trolley’ writing. He writes about his family, playing in a band, their animals at home, andContinue reading “Tim Dowling on how to write an article”

Writing towards the Truth

On page 112 of ‘Rising Above the Plains’, John McPhee writes about a time the geologist David Love was learning German and how he came across this line in a book. ‘There is an inscription above a doorway at the German Naval Officers School in Kiel that reads, ‘Say not ‘This is the truth’ butContinue reading “Writing towards the Truth”

Writing the first draft

Just write. Don’t worry about the research. Start when two worlds collide. This gives an edge that generates tension and anticipation. The story is then born in the space where the objective and the subjective touch, where a man or woman seeks something that lies just beyond their reach. Start by writing what you wantContinue reading “Writing the first draft”

Socrate’s dilemma

The man who taught us how to think didn’t like us to write. Socrates was suspicious of two subjects. Rhetoric and writing. What he didn’t like about both was their intransigence. He said that with writing, there was no room to criticise. In Phaedrus, Plato quotes Socrates as saying that ‘writing is only useful toContinue reading “Socrate’s dilemma”