The American writer and academic Jay Parini was recently interviewed in The Chronicle where he urged scholars to attempt to write in a variety of genres in order to improve their style:
…writing in different genres can help anyone write with more energy and vision and scope. Memoir is always available. Much of the best criticism now being written is highly personal: the reader in the work, responding. I wish more critics/scholars would try a hand at poetry and fiction, or drama. Biography has been an obsession of mine, partly because it’s the one genre where I can write criticism that is readable and useful, and it’s another place to practice the art of narration.
Helen de Cruz at Oxford Brookes is organizing a fiction-writing workshop and competition for philosophers (announcements are coming soon). If you’ve ever flirted with the idea of writing fiction, this summer might be a good time to give it a go.
Do you write poetry, fiction, or drama (philosophical or otherwise)? How do you start? Where do your ideas come from? Do you find it to be helpful or exasperating? What challenges or successes have you experienced? If you’ve thought about it but not yet started, what’s holding you back? Tell us in the comment section below, or if you’d like to write a post about it, pitch it to us here.