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Berlin Notes — Writing about the Creative Art of Living. Photography, thoughts on psychologies, art, and creativity.
Writer’s idea machine -typewriter with red flowers
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Every beginner writer needs a little nudge and guidance. Here’s a few ideas to help you.

The beginning of writing starts with an ‘urge’. It’s a nameless emotion that pushes, nudges, and makes its way to the forefront of the mind.

If you are serious about writing, then the urge develops into a need. Hopefully a daily need that you satisfy gladly.

Every beginner rides on a wave of enthusiasm for a while, but the enthusiastic impulses begin to wane as the daily practice begins to feel more like work.

That’s to be expected, and every good writer has experienced the crest of a wave, followed by the splash of cold water. …

Writing difficult roads will lead to beautiful destinations in your work
Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

The best method of achieving your writing goals is to write each day — with or without the doubts.

“He who has a Why, can bear any How” Friedrich Nietzsche

If you know why you write, you will always find a way to achieve the goals you set yourself. That’s human nature. We love a positive challenge that spurs us onto greater things.

Writing is always a fruitful experience for a person who knows why they write. Writers are resilient people, they stick at it, and never give up. Some writers claim that they couldn’t quit even if they tried.

Think of all the jobs and pursuits in the world, and ask yourself how many people live a life…

Photo Image; Sean P. Durham, Berlin, 2021

I just took my camera and went for a walk. It was a dull day, but I got some bright shots.

It’s tough when the weather changes. It might rain, it might turn chilly and damp. Nothing beats summer heat, and the feeling of a vibrant city on the go.

Autumn Suitcase
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Autumn is creeping up on us. In my part of the world, Northern Europe, each new day seems duller, cloudier, and a flat light is covering the land.

Oh well, what’d you do?

When the sun is shining a photographer is always spoilt for choice.

Autumn brings the flat light as cloud covers the land, no dark shifting shadows to play cat and mouse with, people on the street seem to have chosen the darkest colours they can find — often, in Berlin, I think people appear as if they’re in mourning as they trundle about dressed in black clothing.

It’s time to change the thought processes, and start focussing on structures instead of colours that look drab without a splash of sunlight. …

Light and Shadow never stand still, they are always dancing together.

The camera is like a portal that offers an entrance into another world. We don’t see everything around us, that’s a fact. We make choices, often unconscious choices that filter everything for us.

I love apples. They are tasty and they are healthy to eat. But if I stop and admire nature’s work in the form of an apple, I realise how much I’ve taken for granted the vivid colours and the forms found in different types of apple.

Then move along to pears, not only the mild green-yellow of its skin, but the slightly rough textured skin. …

Paris window view
Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

Many of the group knew of Paul Auster. Some of them had read a few of his stories.

Back to Part I

Alice stood up, and turned to the group.

“We need to act quickly. Two groups of kidnappers, Okay?”

Dennis stood behind her, “She’s right, two groups to find him, then kidnap him and bring him back here. All of it done quietly.”

Alice pointed at three people, a woman and two men in their late twenties, and said, “You three will go to Paris, and find him. I think he still lives there. We have the address in a book in my flat.”

“I bet you don’t have it,” Said one of the men.

“Remember, all…

Lovers on a beach
Photo by Mareks Steins on Unsplash

When we write, we must be quiet. The mind becomes like a chamber of creation, a laboratory. A place where not only our voice is heard, but imagery, colours, abstract thoughts. It’s a place where we must be honest with ourselves.

“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” -Robert Morely

We have to figure things out when we write. We do it in our minds. We become experts at listening to ourselves think, quietly.

It takes time, and patience.

The good thing is that it’s seldom possible to start ‘chattering’ when you write. The results would be like the sound of a bus station on a Saturday afternoon after shopping. It’s better to sit on a bench and wait. To look and observe, that’s how ideas develop. …

Friendships vary in their definition. People find friends, get to know them, love them, create closeness, which can turn out be a long and rich experience.

Your heart and my heart are very, very old friends.

Others dip in and out of relationships that seem to pop up in life. These type of relationships occur through accidental circumstances, and develop into feelings of anticipation, fun, and meetings that are based on the same circumstances that caused the first meeting. But go no further than that.

There are friendships that stagnate because they are all based on meeting in a bar, drinking, talking, and nothing more. Nobody seems to have the courage to suggest a new environment, maybe there is a fear doing something new and different…

Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Unsplash

Creativity is improvisation, improvisation is freedom to create. Self confidence is the motivator.

Every self-confident creative person who works hard at their craft will encounter moments of doubt. That’s part of life, a function of the mind.

Without the ability to doubt, to stop and ask questions, we would simply crash through the thickets of life and always end in places we hadn’t planned on.

Creative people, writers and artists, business people building something good, are always in danger of listening too deeply to doubt when it presents itself.

If you view the rising doubts as a challenge to your self confidence, you will discover that you can keep your balance, and not…

There is a lot of genuinely good writing advice out there, and there is an awful lot of genuinely daft writing advice.

A common question, “How can I write, so I get the voice right?”, then a canon ball of tips about writing in the same way as you talk gets splattered all over the screen.

If we wrote like we talked, our readers would soon start to fall asleep, or turn to their mobile screens and scroll through Instagram. Looking at cat pictures can be more fun than the artificial rhythms of an author’s voice.

People ignore much of what people say, they tell them to get to the point. They assure the speaker that they are listening, really!

The way…

Sean P. Durham

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