Friday, 27 April 2018

Blog Tour - All Rivers Run Free - Natasha Carthew on Writing Outdoors

I am delighted to be taking part today in the Blog Tour for All Rivers Run Free by Natasha Carthew. It is an amazing book which I am greatly enjoying reading and will be sharing my thoughts on this book with you very soon. In the meantime, in her own words, Natasha is going to tell us how she loves to write outdoors and the inspiration it gives her.


Fiction is the best way to deal with some of the social and environmental issues of our times.The natural world draws writers for comfort and inspiration, and for a wealth of narratives. Even if we don’t write about nature, nature generates the stories we tell. This is because everything we know about creating, we know intuitively from the natural world. One can set the stage for creation by following these three steps: consciously naming the information gathered by the senses, describing the sensory details of one particular thing, and interacting with the energy system of the earth.
As writers we must strive to make this kind of connection between the everyday and the hidden, noting the beauty all around us to develop a rich relationship with wildness inside and out.
When I write I’m drawn to the outside countryside around me out of necessity. It’s a way to clear my head and immerse myself fully with the world that my characters inhabit.

Why do we write outside?
We spend our lives looking at the world through screens; TV’s, computers, windows in houses and cars and buses and through these screens it’s like we are bystanders, watching the world go by. I think it makes us better writers to be a part of that world.
The first reason is FREEDOM. As a young writer I was drawn to writing outside because of the freedom it gave me, there were no distractions no other voices but mine and I could escape to whichever world I wanted. Writing outside also helped to clear my head and become focused.
The second reason for writing outside is INSPIRATION. I was lucky enough to have grown up by the sea on the south coast of Cornwall and anyone who knows the ocean knows it is a great metaphor for all that teenage angst. Saying that, you can get inspiration from a million different outside locations and a million different things to stimulate your senses and free your wild mind.

Where to start?
Stuff a notebook and pencil into your pocket and get out there. Whether your wild world is in the woods or in your local park, being outside in the open air and all the elements thrown your way is the first step on your wild writing journey, and the other is letting go. To be submerged in your outside environment is to know inspiration is close; have faith, you are now ready to be lost in the moment.
Writing outside, especially if writing a book set mostly in the wild, might seem a challenge to some writers but it is recommended -even taking a walk before writing brings you closer to your creative self and opens your mind to all the possibilities available to you.
Top tips for writing outside are firstly to dress weather-wise; sitting outside is going to be way colder than a stroll in the woods. Sit some place sheltered so you don’t get wet or sunstroke or have your notebook ripped from your hand by howling gales. Bring a pencil in case the air is damp. Views are good, even in a park or on the roof of a block of flats. The more perspective you have the more you see (you are an artist), and don’t forget the detail that exists in everything.
Nothing coaxes jumbled thoughts into coherent sentences like sitting by a river on a summer’s day or under a tree in a rainstorm; either way I know I’ll produce my best work.
As a wild writer, landscape is more than just scenery: it is the interaction between people and place; the bedrock upon which our society is built and as a writer it is everything.To be submerged in your outside environment means you are ready to be lost in the moment.
We all know writing takes time and sitting outside watching the world go by helps in this process. Even if you are not writing, you are observing, things come to you and pass you by and this world is beyond your control. It is fluid and that fluidity is exciting, you no longer think about writing but merely start to write.

Natasha Carthew

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