Joyce Carol Oates
I run courses and workshops combining creative writing teaching with meditation techniques. Meditation is the perfect complement to writing, sweeping aside anxieties, distractions and all those self-defeating, self-sabotaging thoughts, opening a fresh page in your mind. It stokes your imagination, sharpens your senses and intensifies the present moment. I’ve been a practising Buddhist for over 20 years and I meditate daily. I believe I would be a lesser writer without my practice.
Many people imagine meditation to be a mysterious discipline, only available to the very spiritual. In fact, it’s incredibly simple.You don’t need to chant or gaze at a candle (although you can, if these techniques work for you). Importantly, you don’t need any religious beliefs. The meditation I practise is sometimes known as mindfulness meditation, and it involves bringing your mind back to the present moment and focusing on your breathing. The fact that it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s always easy – it can take some practice to reach the mind-calming stage – but persevere and I promise you will become a more creative, courageous and disciplined writer, and (very probably) a happier, more grounded human being.
What others say
‘Kevin teaches from the inside out, helping to find that unencumbered narrator that you need to draw on to begin the creative process. He works seamlessly with you, helping you to write without your ego, or lack of it, getting in the way.’ Rebecca Sowray, Arvon course student, Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre, 2012
‘Kevin breaks down a writer’s natural inhibitions with his infectious enthusiasm, superb exercises and bountiful tips that cross the full range of writing styles.’ Neil Horabin, MFA Creative Writing Student, Kingston University, April 2013
‘Kevin was one of the two tutors on my writing course at the Scottish Creative Writing Centre at Moniack Mhor, Scotland. He was an excellent tutor, both in workshops and the 1-2-1 sessions, and was able to bring his considerable experience across a range of different literary forms to provide invaluable individual support. His tutoring was clearly effective, because at the time of writing I’m over 100,000 words in to the second draft of my novel, and am still using his advice on a daily basis. I can safely say that every piece of advice he gave us about the challenges and rewards of the novel-writing process has come to pass, and the information he imparted has helped with the many challenges you face as a first-time writer. In addition, he is a charming fellow and deeply enjoyable company.’ Chris Atherton, Moniack Mhor, Arvon 2012