A Garden of Delights

Your Inspirations Welcomes Martine Svanevik

Posted on: April 2, 2012

We’re back on schedule here at the Garden of Delights, and that means Your Inspirations.  Today I have the honor of welcoming a wonderful writer (and an incredibly helpful and outgoing person), Martine  Svanevik, the self-named nascent novelist.  When you have a chance, please step over to her blog and read her most recent piece on Stories That Stick or any of a number of others

Writing in Public

cup of coffee

There are two types of writers: reclusive and social. The reclusive writers hide away in corners, go on solitary retreats and lock themselves away so they can write. The social writers join groups and collectives, and like to go to parks or cafes to get their writing done.

Often, non-social writers and readers have the preconception that social writers are hipsters or posers or both. That their Macbook airs are open on blank pages because they have nothing of depth to offer, that they sit at cafes to be seen, while real writers hide away, shaping their words in private. But really, it’s all about the kind of environment you draw inspiration from.

The cafe writer enjoys the buzz of human interaction, she thrives on catching snippets of other people’s conversations, she needs a space where the tap-tap-tapping of fingers on keyboards won’t thunder through an empty room.

She knows that her words are written so they can be shared, and that it’s only in the reading of them that they serve a purpose, so she writes them in public. Or maybe she feels like the only place she can truly be in her own space, is in a crowd. That her muse hides in that special silence you get when you’re surrounded by noise and movement. Sure the laptop sets her apart, but it doesn’t define her.

Now, I’m not saying there’s a right way to write, or that everyone would gain a circumstance bonus from sitting in a noisy crowd. I am in awe of writers who are so comfortable in their own head that they can spend most of their time alone in there. What I am saying is that the search for inspiration might take us weird places, but as long as we’re willing to chase our muse, who cares where she leads us? I’m sure it’s going to be somewhere good.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to steal a snippet of conversation from the girls next to me, and then figure out the definition of a “Toronto bro.”

The elegant, creative Martine

Martine, lovely both inside and out

About Martine Helene Svanevik

Martine Helene Svanevik is a fiction writer from Montreal. She spends her days editing text for computer games, her evenings powerlifting and crossfitting, and her nights writing twisted stories set in a darker world than our own.

She blogs about writing and training over on nascentnovelist.wordpress.com and can often be found wasting time on twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/martinemonster).

12 Responses to "Your Inspirations Welcomes Martine Svanevik"

[…] Today, I can be found over on A Garden of Delights, blogging about writing in public. […]

Thank you so much for having me! 🙂

You’re most welcome, Martine. I wish I was a better host, but a “thing” has taken over our house. I’m ICKY. 😦

Love this post. I’m the writer who writes everywhere, leaving sticky notes all over the house. Sometimes the best ideas are when I’m not infront of the monitor at all, hence a notebook and pen are always with me. Yeah, a bit of a geek…

Welcome, Bethany. I know what you mean. Even having a laptop computer isn’t the same as the feel of actually “writing”

Oh, I do the same! I write on the back of receipts, on my phone, in my little notebook(s).

I once had a friend who brought a tape recorder with her everywhere. I’m not quite there yet, but give me time. 😉

I alternate between the two. Sometimes, I need silence and special writing music (and can’t be bothered to get out of my fleece PJs).

Other days, I need to get out so that I feel like I’m doing something ‘proactive’, and get away from the distractions of housework and TV. The good thing about going to a cafe is (if you don’t bring a book), there’s nothing else to do except write. Also, I’ll often get myself rewards – say, when I’ve written another 500 or 1000 words, I’ll go over to the counter and buy myself another ice cream. (Not the healthiest reward system.)

On occasions, I’ve also written in cafes with other witers ( I used to be in a small writing group that met every Wednesday in an ice cream place). The good thing about this was that I was expected to show up every week, and when everyone else is sitting and working, you feel bead if you’re only surfing the net.

Apart from that, I’m sceptical towards dividing people into ‘types of people’, and I believe my use shows up wherever I sit down and make an effort to work 😉

Great points all. I used to be more “cafe writer”, then before that I was “flump on the couch writer” and then… It may be something that evolves as our writing styles do. Right now I’m, oddly enough, a hangout in Applebee’s writer. 😉

Thanks so much for visiting. I hope you enjoy your writing adventures.

I hear you. It’s always a bit of a construction when you split people into groups. But a small part of me loves it…

The reward system is often what gets me through as well.

Thank you for finally explaining the social aspect of writing, which I have never understood, and, if I am honest, have had some not-so-attractive ideas about it. As an in introvert, crowds overwhelm me–even online occasionally–yet I find the idea of writing within the crowd fascinating. Great post!


I’ll let Martine talk about her own experience, but I can say from my own experiences there is an energy (exhausting at times, but very real and useful for certain pieces of story) that can be achieved from writing in a crowd. I temper mine with lots of home time or woods walks. But just being around the thoughts of others, simply taking in their energy, can provide wonderful insights.

Thanks for visiting, Karen.

You’re not alone about those thoughts. I have, on occasion, been called a hipster. A terrible affront, but now that I have my defence post, I’m sure it will stop. Right? 😉

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