Lee Kofman on Pushing Through Writers’ Block

There’s this really beautiful idea that writers need to clear the decks, go somewhere else in solitude, and then the writing will happen. And it often does, but I think it mostly does when we actually keep doing real practice. So says author Lee Kofman in her podcast with “The Garrett” at https://thegarretpodcast.com/lee-kofman-writing-honestly-reading-writer/ In January 2022 I was lucky enough to […]

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Readers’ Feedback

I am always happy to receive feedback from my readers, whether positive or otherwise, provided it’s honest and respectful. Here are some of the many responses I’ve had from the “chat” form on my website. If you have anything to say about either of my books, or any of my articles, I’d be delighted to hear from you. SImply go […]

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A Story from a Resident of Ukraine

Several weeks ago, in the early days of the War in Ukraine, a friend contacted me. She had received a piece of writing from her contact in besieged Ukraine. Would I consider using my editing skills to enhance the author’s version written in rather broken English? With the author’s agreement, I agreed to undertake this task, gratis of course, in […]

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Creativity and Mental Illness: Sigmund Freud and Sylvia Plath

I have long been interested in the connection between mental illness and creativity. My latest novel, A Dangerous Daughter, describes how psychoanalysis was used to cure a mental illness and to unlock the main character’s creativity. Some of our greatest artists, writers and musicians suffered some form of mental illness while producing brilliant and lasting works of art. Many of the 20th century’s great writers, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Schumann,Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda Fitzgerald, and William Styron, suffered from mental illness.  In this article by Jahnavi Ravishankar “Sylvia Plath– A Caged Darkness of the Mind”, the writer extrapolates how Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, might have analysed the poet and author Sylvia Plath, who suffered what would now be called a bipolar condition, and made several suicide attempts before succeeding in 1963. In this abridged version, Ravishankar analyses Plath’s famous poem, ‘Daddy” in Freudian terms (see poem attached): .“Sylvia Plath, a renowned American poet, was clinically depressed for most of her life and eventually became a victim of suicide at the age of Bnb thirty. The “Ariel” poems, including ‘I am Vertical and ‘Daddy’, were written shortly before she died. and posthumously garnered acclaim. These poems painted a vivid image of her inner psyche. Sigmund Freud’s position that the artist is a successful neurotic has been contested but, at the same time, has served as a key focal point for several psychoanalytic theories in literature. In his essay, ‘Creative Writers and Daydreaming’, he states, “The […]

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New Insights on Eating Disorders

Have We Moved On? This article gives the lie to anorexic nervosa being a life choice adopted by aspiring models, ballet dancers, or vain women on a diet. It is anything but this.In the article following we see proof that anorexia is an illness, just like cancer or heart disease, and as such is beyond the sufferer’a control. To me and many others this news is liberating, and life-changing. Read my novel “A Dangerous Daughter”  at https://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Daughter-Dina-Davis/dp/0645175811 to learn how this disease was treated in the fifties and sixties. Do you think we’ve moved on from there?                                Entire Site                             Monitor                 MEMBERSTOPICSPUBLICATIONS & DATABASESSCIENCEEDUCATION & CAREERNEWS & ADVOCACYHome// Monitor on Psychology// 2016// 04// New insights on eating disorders Help us improve your experience by  providing feedback  on this page. FEATURE New insights on eating disorders Scientists are uncovering the faulty neurobiology behind anorexia and bulimia, debunking the myth that such eating disorders are solely driven by culture and environment. By Kirsten Weir April 2016, Vol 47, No. 4 Print version: page 36 10 min read 5 Public misunderstanding of mental health disorders is nothing new. But for eating disorders in particular, misinformation abounds. “You still read more about anorexia in the celebrity section of publications than in health sections,” says Nancy Zucker, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University. […]

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Recent Interview in NT’s leading magazine, “Off the Leash”, September 2021

Dina Davis Q&A I was recently interviewed by Rita Horanyi from the NT Writers’ Centre. Here’s what we had to say: Rita: Darwin-based author Dina Davis has published stories, articles and poems in journals and anthologies, and her debut novel, Capriccio, was shortlisted for last year’s NT Chief Minister’s Fiction Award. Her latest book, A Dangerous Daughter, draws from her own experiences to tackle the complex subject of eating disorders. NT Writers’ Centre caught up with Dina to chat about her new work. Congratulations on your new book! Tell us quickly, what’s A Dangerous Daughter all about? Dina: Basically, it’s a story of survival against all odds. Thirteen year old Ivy is suffering from an undiagnosed illness. After several unsuccessful treatments she is exiled from her family in NSW and sent to live with relatives in WA. The book details her daily struggle with an entity she calls ‘The Voice’ which won’t let her eat. Ultimately Ivy is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, which was almost unknown in the 1950s, when the story takes place. What inspired the novel? Dina: I was inspired by two synchronistic events: the first was being invited to take part in an international study on anorexia, which proved that it is an illness with a largely genetic component. This knowledge freed me a lot from the self-blame that had plagued my life. The second was the discovery of a letter from over 50 years ago, written by the psychoanalyst who had treated me. I wanted […]

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