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Ben Okri talked about writing

The Famished Road - Ben Okri

This is more about the writer, as I'm sitting in the same theatre hall with the writer right now.


Ben just asked the audience to write for 5 minutes on nothing. Then asked how the audience felt about writing. Writing is about practice, about habit of writing. He felt frustrated when he write, and keep at it until creativity comes.


He read a poem "My mother sleeps". 


He he then talked about writing one book about himself, then wrote about something else instead. 


The weird part about spirit child, a woo woo belief of Nigeria that don't want to stay alive. It seems the writer did belief of this woo and treated as real. That part frustrated me a little that a grown man could believe just stupid thing. But as a plot, he wrote 500 pages on why this spirit child stays with the family. He then talked about how Nigeria think of death. It is reincarnation thing.


He read also from The Age of Magic. How he would read it in the Oral Tradition.


He demonstrate on how he would tell a story. And remembered about his mother told him story with no point and no ending. An d he would extract meaning from this unfinished story. H also told about his father who asked him about philosophical questions, that he understood much later.


H read the New Year poem.


He then asked the audience to read what they had written earlier. A lot of aspired writers here, Then it is his turn. He asked the host to read it, but she couldn't read his handwriting. He shared that he write with pen and paper. Ordinary stuff. The host then asked if he write with his hat on. He commented that it is a weird question. He finally admitted that he write with his hat on. 


The hunger and passion for writing is still on.


He believed in the dreamers and go about making dreams come true. A bit optimistic.  


The audience then ask on the parallel process on the page. 



This is an interesting talk. That encourage reading, writing and story telling.