About the project

Being a writer takes a lot of determination. It’s all too easy to prioritize other things higher. There is work and the children, dinner, the laundry, the dishes. The lawn has to be mowed and you have to do some shopping or call your dad, and after you’ve done all that you tell yourself that you’re too tired or that it is more important to watch television or read a magazine. And if everything else fails you can always blame your muse for not showing up. Or well, of course you don’t do all that, but I do. I am really bad at planning time for writing every day, even so I love writing.
I’ve been writing for decades and always have a project in my drawer. I’ve written rimes and poems, stories for children, a calendar book, a history book about Amsterdam and over the last 20 years or so I’ve written on and off on a novel, but until now I’ve never made it a priority to write consistently every day.
In my past there have been quite a few periods where I haven’t written anything for several months and maybe even a year and I want to change that now. I want to get used to write every day.
Then, some days ago, I watched the movie Julie & Julia with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. In that movie a young woman by the name Julie Powell decides to write a blog about her attempt to cook every single one of the 524 dishes in a cookbook, written by Julia Child, within 365 days and thereby introduce the magical French kitchen to a new generation.
The movie made me think. I have a book called: THE WRITERS BLOCK 786 IDEAS TO JUMP-START YOUR IMAGINATION written by Jason Rekulak and published by RUNNING PRESS. I actually bought it mostly as a gimmick, but what if I used it as it maybe was the intention of the writer and write a piece, that’s inspired by one of those ideas, every day. That really would give my writing a big push forward. And since I’m really good at making excuses when nobody else is looking, I’m making a commitment to write a piece every day and post it here on my blog for everybody to see.
786 ideas. That’s one idea for every day between the 30est of June 2013 and the25th of August 2015. 2 years, 1 month and 26 days.
I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for me to write and hope it will be just as fun for you to read.
I hope to see you on my blog often
Best regards

7 thoughts on “About the project

  1. Hi!
    I was looking for information about alma nissen and found your interview with her. Where can I read the rest? Turns out my dad knew her and now he is sick and I want to try to study Alma and her lifes works.
    Would love to ge a respond!
    Take care.
    Kind regards from Sweden!

    • Hi Cat,

      You can find the rest of the book here on my blog. Between June 30th and September 10th 2014 I translated it all. You find it under “Health”.
      Say hello to your dad from me and wish him good luck.
      My own brother developed arthritis over the later years. He got the full treatment from doctors and hospitals – including having all his teath pulled out and having his joint liquid replaced by something else. Nothing helped, untill he got tired of it all and listened to Alma Nissen. Now he is fine.

  2. Hello Cirsten,
    I read with interest your comments on Leliegracht 22, in particular the comment about Joannes Deknatel. I am writing a book on the Deknatel family and would love to know what your source is for this information. I knew that he lived on the Leliegracht and that he acquired the property in 1730.
    Thanks for helping out. Best wishes from Ottawa Canada.


    • Hi John,

      That’s a good question. I wrote about the houses on Leliegracht several years ago. I will have to look it up and it can take a while before I have the time for it, but I will find out. Thank you for reading.
      Best wishes from Aarhus in Denmark.


    • Hi John,
      So I found it.
      There was a man by the name Jacob Bicker Raye, who between 1732 and 1772 wrote a diary about all kinds of things that happened in Amsterdam. Many years after his death the books were sold for very little money and from there they found their way to Amsterdam’s City Archive (Stadsarchief Amsterdam).
      Bicker Raye especially liked to write about the juicy stuff like robberies, people going insane, murders, and so on, and on June 2nd, 1749 Jacob Bicker Raije (Raye) wrote:
      ‘On June 2nd, some common people wanted to loot the house belonging to Mr. Deknatel, preacher of the Mennonite community on Lelygracht, because it was said that a Hernhutter community always worshiped in the house. It went so far that four companies of citizens had to take up arms to keep the mob at bay
      What follows is not Bicker Rayes text, but a comment in the online book:
      Mr. J. Decknatel, from Norden, preaching since 1726, was indeed in relation to the Hernhutters, to whom he offered different services while they explored the site for a settlement in Suriname. The first pioneers left for Suriname together with Joan Raye (page 494). Compare a recent study by Mr. C. K. Kessler: How the first Hernhutters came to Suriname. According to de Bie enn Loosjes: Biogr. Wordsb. (I honestly don’t know what those abbreviations mean, you might contact the Stadsarchief Amsterdam to find out) the people shouted at Deknatel: They believe that God is not God, but they believe in an Island. Deknatel had to promise not to practice at home anymore.
      You find the diaries online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Bicker_Raije
      I realize that the story here is different. Here the people shouted at Deknatel, while I earlier wrote that Deknatel shouted at the people, and also what was shouted is different. I don’t remember where I found that interpretation. I also don’t remember where I found the house number 22. It probably was somewhere else in the archives, but I don’t know where. Anyway, I think that the wording in the diary is correct and that the other one is wrong.
      I hope this helps.
      Best regards

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