Some Guidance Required

You know how I was saying that one day I might be able to introduce myself like this, “Hi, I’m Hone Rata. I’m an author”? The last month has shown me that while I might be able to say that, I can’t follow it up with “And I’m kinda good at it.” Because if I … Continue reading Some Guidance Required

Writing magic: an elixir to happiness

We have only a few weeks left on the Te Papa Tupu programme. I am still grateful to have been picked for this programme and know that these six months have given me the tools and insight I need to be a writer for life. I spent quite a bit of time over the past … Continue reading Writing magic: an elixir to happiness

Legacies and Legends

Well, this is truly the beginning of the end of the beginning. As December draws near I look at my body of work and I am feeling quite sad – not for having the opportunity to complete my work under the guidance of professionals – but for the fact that I wanted to accomplish so … Continue reading Legacies and Legends

Detours create richer detail

I went to a Rongoa Māori course on Saturday. I learnt a lot, but one of the most valuable things I got was a reminder of things we intuitively know. We just need to be still, watch, listen and all will be revealed. We often find things that we weren’t even looking for. We are … Continue reading Detours create richer detail

How coincidences mean more than you think

Often this month I've questioned, 'Why am I doing this?'  Not so long ago, a New Age shaped world view would have me think, 'Oh, but writing seems to have chosen me.' Now I can't be so sure. Back then, I might cite the time I went looking for guidance on what I thought was … Continue reading How coincidences mean more than you think

Tracing a writer’s whakapapa

What I think about when I think about writing? I think too much. This came after reading Haruki Murakami’s What I think about when I think about running. He took the title of his book from Raymond Carver’s What we talk about when we talk about love. Which led me to thinking about what influences … Continue reading Tracing a writer’s whakapapa

A day’s writing with the Author and the Internal Editor

Wakes up on the two seater loveseat. Alone. Feet dangle over the tiled coffee table. Wrapped tightly about in a duvet. Through the window Thursday clouds threaten rain.  Crosses fingers; that would be nice. Heads into the kitchen. Has to rinse himself a clean cup, dishes undone for a while now. Has to empty ashtray … Continue reading A day’s writing with the Author and the Internal Editor

When the writing flow starts to congeal

Robert Louis Stevenson was quoted as saying: Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. At the moment I am planting lots of seeds but when I look at my fields the crops seem like poor specimens. Under nourished and not able to stand tall against strong winds. … Continue reading When the writing flow starts to congeal

Suiting the taste of a target audience

We are nearing the halfway mark of our journey and I have just completed the manuscript in its rawest form – the unformed clay if you will. My mentor has allowed the following week to go over this first draft and begin the editing process, so I am a bundle of nerves. Even now, I … Continue reading Suiting the taste of a target audience

Characters: hanging on to what matters

When I last met my mentor, Alia Bloom, we shared coffee in the sun on the terrace of her home, and I hesitantly agreed with her suggestion to dispatch Buddy Winter. I created Buddy so it was only right that I be the one to destroy him. He was an awful man, but like a … Continue reading Characters: hanging on to what matters