As I read Natalie Goldberg’s, The True Secret of Writing, I am reminded of the simple notion of just write. I like to work through the writing practices that are shared with us by Natalie. Little exercise are good to get the hand moving, the words flowing on the page, to just keep writing.
- Keep your hand moving. If you say you will write for ten minutes, twenty, and hour, keep your hand going. Not frantically, clutching the pen. But don’t stop. This is your chance to break through to wild mind, to the way you rally think, see, and feel, rather than how you think you should think, see and feel. This does not mean you have to write orgasmic sex scenes smeared with butter to touch your mind. You might end u writing about toast, your sore throat, your fingernail. But it will be alive, real. Yes, even you who have never left home, never stepped out of your gray suit, even you have a wild mind, that vibrating force below your discursive thinking, that true connection. It is natural to human life. Get to work and contact it. You might write for ten minutes and never land. That’s okay. If you accept your mind at whatever level it is as you begin to write, if you don’t fight it, it will eventually settle.
This is something I share in my morning pages at least six days out of the week. Just keep writing, don’t stop, let the words fall onto the page and see what appears. If I’m frustrated I will eventually share the truth of the matter. The truth may be scary, but there is no hiding in journal writing, especially in morning pages. Much like meditation, writing is a way to let go. Let go of the bullshit that swirls around in my mind, the ego that wants to do the laundry rather than write. Too, bad ego, it’s time to write.
2. Feel free to write the work junk in America (Insert Canada for this Canadian writer). You have to turn over your mind a lot for the gems to pop out. And really in True Secret Retreats and in writing practice we are not looking for gems, but a way to meet and accept our whole mind. Writing down the boring, the complaining, the violet, the agitated, obsessive, destructive, mean, shameful, timid, weak thoughts allows us to see them, make friends with those parts of ourselves. They won’t then rule us. We won’t be running from them, or battling them in meditation – or in our lives. Writing practice asks all parts of us to come forward. And when we get out of the way and stop judging, aren’t they all their own peculiar impersoanl gems?
I love this! When I was working on my manuscript and there was a moment I felt a bit stuck, something wasn’t right. Even though I don’t mind writing the dark side of my mind, somewhere within me “thinks” it shouldn’t be written, but when I start to witness this thought I go ahead and write down whatever comes to mind, it might scare me at first, but something is triggered and I end up writing an idea for a screen play and I end up with pages of dialogue and I have no idea where it came from. That is what happens when you don’t stop writing. When you keep the hand moving, eventually the idea catches up and it just appears without notice and you keep writing. It’s that sweet zone many artists speak about, the moment where you realize that time has stopped and you are just right here and now.
Now, go to your computer or notebook and start writing, what are you thinking, doing, seeing? Put it down now.
Until Next time, keeping on typing. . . .