Welcome to Writers’ Uni-Verse-City (or WUVC for short because every university has an acronym), a place where writers/bloggers can meet to discuss the craft of writing in the Internet age. WUVC will involve independent research, setting a curriculum and hopefully finding other participants (like you – readers/bloggers/writers) to: chip in, give tips, suggest books and other materials for study, teach me the ways of the warrior writer, and offer to guest post here at Uni-Verse-City (contact: [email protected]).
Being a writer is a full time profession. One can learn to become a better writer in many ways. The most common advice is to write a lot and read a lot. I’ve been reading lots of books in my preferred genre, books on the craft of writing, blog posts and other study materials to learn the craft. I’ve also been blogging and writing a my first novel. Another fun activity for learning is to watch movies and identify the key elements like the protagonists’s and antagonists’s goals, the turning points, the character arc, ect.
This time I went on what you could call a “field trip”. I’ve been studying and working at home, but since I was in Ireland, I couldn’t miss the chance to visit the Dublin Writer’s Museum.
Ireland is known for its writers of both the past and present. I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one, if not all of the following famous Irish writers:
These are just some of the big name writers you can read and learn more about at the Writer’s Museum. I have to admit that I haven’t read all of their famous works, but I have heard of them and admire them none the least. What was interesting to learn was that many of Ireland’s most famous writer’s lived abroad. They moved away to cities like London and Paris due to the tightening British control and so that they could write about what ever they wanted.
These talented authors were not only novelists, but poets and playwrights. There were also noteworthy females writers including: Sydney Owenson, Elizabeth Bowen and Maria Edgeworth.
Even though the main part of the museum is only two rooms full of beautiful old texts, photographs of famous authors and their accomplishments, you can easily spend three or four hours reading the explanatory plaques and admiring the old book covers and yellowed paper. You will receive an audio guide, which describes the history of Irish literature as you go along. It is basically a summary of the more detailed information on display about each author. I found myself listening to the audio and then reading for more information. The museum is in an elegant Georgian house, which itself is a sight to see. There is a gallery upstairs with paintings of Irish authors and also a study filled with bookshelves lined with story titles and authors that will make you gasp.
Ireland, a relatively small island, has made a huge contribution to world literature. It makes me wonder if its their genetics that explains their artistic abilities to write, sing and dance or is it their culture? In today’s day and age with the internet, television and video games, I think that maybe we are loosing just a bit of out humanistic side and instead of our time, energy and creativity being put into the arts like learning to paint, play music, learn languages and write, we are creating new applications for cell phones, the slimmest computers we imagine and the best digital images that can be produced. Maybe these technical developments are artistic in a way, but they aren’t produced from raw materials with our minds and bare hands.
I don’t think I will ever compare to the likes of these Irish authors and create something that transcends time and doesn’t become “out of date” as soon as its released on the market, but I am happy to say – even if its a bit nerdy – that in my spare time I read and write and engage in self-directed learning because at least I’m trying to grow and maybe one day I will produce something valuable.
What’s something you’ve done outside of reading and writing for writer enrichment? Have you been to a writer’s museum? (If so, please share).