Last Wednesday, we completed our first period of “Creative Writing” course in METU (Middle East Technical University) Alumni Premises, the fifth session, one class per week.
We could name our activity as “Introduction To Creative Writing” from a reputable Turkish novel writer. Our teacher, Mehmet Eroglu (METU CE’71 graduate) said “Writing, is stripping in the crowd”, as stated earlier by J.P Sartre, he continues some more sayings maybe from reputable writers or original from himself
”The worst master in the world is our own habits” which we do not want to change,
“The easiest person we can deceive, is ourselves”
”Whatever we postpone all our life, we should immediately start to do it right now”
”The most important thing is to use your time in correct way”
He said that he started to play saxophone in his mid-40s. Nobody took him seriously when he started since he knew nothing about reading the musical notes. However he said that he worked 2-3 times more than others. Now he can play at 100 pop pieces properly. He has certain limitations obviously. For example he still can not play “improvisation” and he feels that he will never do it.
He left his high income top management post from a local construction company in his mid-50s, and devoted all his time to writing.
He is now giving “Creative Writing” lessons to newcomers in a Journalism Foundation (UM:AG) in Ankara
He has about 10 best seller books in the local bookstores.
He says “Artists, writers are selfish, in order to create something important, they should devote all their time to work and suffer, there is no more time for anything else”.
Some sayings he loves to state from other writers,
”What a pity to value goodness, rather than to be good” Moby Dick- McRude ??
"I will not have my hair style to this years fashion " Lillian Hepburn (to respond Elia Kazan)
"Big things can not be done without love" Schoendoerfer
Our teacher says, "Freedom is either complete or non-existed. Each morning it should be gained once again".
"Do not satisfy with small happiness, get bigger expectation from happiness "
Then he taught how he wrote his books,
“When you write a book, a novel, you should write the end at first. Then you will plot the writing with that fixed end. You should know the end upfront. When you complete the book, you should read your writing loud, to check if words flow smoothly one after another, without any interruption, ”
“If there is no courage, personal virtues are at danger”
“Macho courage may slide to wilderness so easily.
”You should leave all your ethical values, in order to create you need destruction first, break your taboos first”
”Art is something to get used to death. All living creatures will die. Art, courage to create, is something to reach immortality, to live in future. Saying -Do not forget me! Living in the future is only possible through Art”
”While writing, you should question every preaccepted notion”
”You will have a talents to take risks”
”Limitations are necessary and good for creations. The most important thing is to create something incredible within limitations. The most important artworks are created by order”
”Creation can be learnt”
”You should have extraordinary work discipline”
”Happiness is something within seconds. Literature is writing PAIN on plain paper. It is expressing feelings. It is expressing of beauty.”
”You should have a story in order to write”
“Artist have a responsibility to the community”
”The real critic is time”
”You will have characters in your novel, they should have pain, they should have pain of indecisiveness, they should have difficult choices, they should suffer because of their incorrect untimely choices. Main characters cannot be happy in the novel. Each character should have a function, evolving in the novel, a clear consistency in their responses.”
Born in 1947 in Izmir, English based high school, then Civil Engineering from METU in 1971. Long term prison due to political activities. Then trilogy during his prison years, Many Literature prizes in 1980s. Then work in public institutions then in a private construction company. Then one day, leaving everything just to write novels and giving lessons how to write.
His web site in Turkish is http://www.mehmeteroglu.info
His email address is email@example.com
The first book he advised in his first lesson was "Tatar Desert" by Dino BUZATTI.
In the last lesson, we evaluated that book. A young lieutenant goes to a remote castle next to a desert at border. He waits there all his career to fight against enemy. In the end enemy comes, but it is too late. He is to old to fight.
Teacher says “talent, is combination of energy and determination”
”Creation, is sum of talent, preparation and imagination”
”Imagination, is habit of dreaming”
”Art, needs creation and courage.”
He advised us the book named “Courage of Creation” by Rollo May, of USA. I purchased and started reading now.
”Those who would take the writer to future, are real readers, critics and mostly the luck.”
Do you wish me to write more about our “Creative Writing” lessons in Ankara?
Please feel free to post your comments, and advise the original wording of those sayings stated above.