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Sunday, 31 March 2013

How Maori carving taught me something about writing

(c) Dawn Meredith Te Puia workshop, New Zealand
This workshop in New Zealand was stunning. In this room apprentices work for years, perfecting the art of totem carving, learning the styles, symbols, family histories, Maori mythology and respect for their ancient culture.

It's not a job for the fast paced, hyperactive person. It takes care, love, skill and one more thing - Tenacity.

Michael Hauge, one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters, mentors and novelists says the same of successful writers - 
"Every successful screenwriter or novelist I know possesses one outstanding quality:    Tenacity. The difference between working writers and wannabes isn't talent or age or gender or geography or connections or the industry or the economy or sunspots or anything else writers tell themselves to avoid facing this awful truth: writers write.
They write every day, they started their current book or script as soon as they finished the last one, they think in terms of career and not a single sale, and they look at every unsold story as a necessary step toward improving their craft."
[To read the rest of this article, please click here...]
As I look at these intricate and beautiful designs carved by hand and patience I begin to feel a new sense of spirit,for my own work. Good things take time and persistence.
cheers, Dawn


  1. This is a testament to the human desire to excel while being humble and patient. A similar experience captured my imagination. While touring a miso factory outside Tokyo, I learned that miso ferments in huge vats, their wooden lids held in place by an artful set of smooth round stones stacked and balanced carefully to suppress the boil and bubbles below. An apprentice labors a full decade to learn the art and craft of balancing round stones. He demonstrates the attributes you celebrate: love, skill and tenacity. Thanks for inspiring me anew.

  2. thanks for sharing your anecdote too, Connye!


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