2012: Reading to write

I love to read, but what I really need just now, in the middle of life, is to become a better writer.

To achieve my goal I have chosen the best possible mentor, advisor and guide (no, its not Virgil…I definitively need a more modern supervisor, and I need her to be a woman). My plan is to spend 2012 in companion with Virginia Woolf.

Not only a brilliant author; Woolf was also very clever when talking about the more practical side of things, about how to write, about writing as craft and skill. As readers we can follow her development through her numerous journals and shorter stories.

I have read most of her fictional work before, and even published a shorter piece on The Waves several years ago. But I see that my understanding of her texts changes over time, and will try to reread most of her books in the months to come. And this time, as already mentioned, I am reading it all with the intention of becoming a better writer –

Botticelli: Madonna del Magnificat (1481)
Hm…, I’m rather astonished that I dare tell you this … my only comfort being that I write my texts in Norwegian, so I guess (hope?) most of you, dear blog-readers, can’t really judge my rate off success or failure – 


20 Comments Add yours

  1. As long as you turn off the Angel of the House.

  2. Anthony says:

    No better tutor than VW; I want to read some more of her essays this year.

  3. She’s also entering public domain this year, it seems. Good stuff.

  4. Caroline says:

    I wish you all the best with this.
    It’s pretty much what I strive for as well.
    I just started another book by Alexandra Johnson and Virginia Woolf is always prominent in them. She can teach a lot.
    Happy 2012, Sigrun.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you for mentioning Alexandra Johnson, I don’t know her writing at all. But your review of “A Brief History of Diaries” is very interesting. Which of her books are you reading now?
      Wish you all the best for 2012!

      1. Caroline says:

        I’m currently reading “Leaving a Trace” but the one for you – that I own as well – is “The Hidden Writer” I think.

  5. I’ll be looking forward to your Virginia Woolf contemplations and insights!

  6. Paula Maggio says:

    You have chosen an excellent mentor.

  7. Esa says:

    I have just finished A Book of Secrets by Michael Holroyd. And among the women he focuses on are Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West, and more predominately, Violet Trefusis. A triumvurate of ‘V”s if you will. It was fascinating how the lives of those three intertwined and became parts of their fictions. I have some Woolf on my shelves and in my e-reader, and look forward to reading some of her work this year.

    1. Speaking of that kind of thing: Violet Trefusis’s Broderie Anglaise is lovely, and more than fair to the character based on VW.

      1. Sigrun says:

        I can’t recall having heard anything about Violet Trefusis – ever. Thanks for enlightening me!

      2. Until I read her novel, my knowledge of Violet was largely the result of countless re-watching of A Portrait of a Marriage.

        Virginia came later, after Violet.

    2. Sigrun says:

      Did you like his book on the V’s?
      Hope you will write about your Woolf experience!

      1. Esa says:

        It was a very good book, and am working on some sort of essay.
        I will try to write about Woolf, that’s the best I can say at the moment.

  8. Angela says:

    Hello Sigrun,
    I enjoyed your post and I couldn’t agree more! 1) The need to focus on becoming a better writer is paramount for me as well; 2) Virginia Woolf is a wonderful mentor. Just yesterday I borrowed her Writer’s Diary from the library with the intention of allowing it to mold me a bit. I have long admired her and, like you, read and wrote about much of her work years ago. But she made such a tremendous impact on me that I have carried a lingering affection for her all these years. I am so happy to know you will be spending the year in her company and can only imagine it will have the very best influence on your work. I am pleased to have found your blog and look forward to reading more of your writing and visting with you now and again.

    Cheers! And happy writing and reading in 2012!


    1. Sigrun says:

      Dear Angela,
      I’m looking forward to follow your thoughts on your beautiful blog
      Wish you all the best for the year to come!

  9. TBM says:

    Good luck this year. I just read Mrs. Dalloway and loved it. She is a fantastic teacher.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Thank you! Totally agree – a fantastic and ever challenging teacher.

  10. Jillian ♣ says:

    EXCELLENT Plan. 😀

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