On writing all the things #100sharesproject 4/100

“I don't think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories-of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.” ~Natalie Goldberg~

“I don’t think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories-of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.” ~Natalie Goldberg~

When I got serious about my writing, the first thing that I did was research how good writers write.  There are many methodologies and approaches to writing.  I have books on writing spilling off of my shelves and stacked on my bedside table.  I love me some good research.  I’ll save you thousands of hours and at least that many dollars. Here’s what every one of those books say.  From Stephen King to Anne Lamott the consensus is this:

Write

Write every day.

Write every damn thing, every damn day.

somersaults in her mind

 

Eventually the days become months become years and your rusty, tentative voice becomes clear and confident.

Writing every day has informed every aspect of my creative practice.  

And my life.

Let me tell you about the best bonus ever.  I was surprised to find that as I wrote every day,

I started telling myself the truth about my own life.

My daily practice of starting the day with handwritten stream of consciousness writing opened my eyes and my throat and my heart.  Angst and gratitude spilled out onto the page.  Some days a trickling stream and others a raging river.

Dragon sketch

I took Natalie Goldberg’s advice.  In Writing Down the Bones, she says:

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”

Yes and amen, to writing all the things.

My daily pages have become an important part of what Guy Winch calls Emotional First Aid.   Daily writing is a way to offer my soul some preventative care.

Along with voice and style and discipline, writing every day has slowed me down to the speed of listening.  Listening to what I call my Inside Voice.   Tending to my heart, mind and soul.

Own choices

Are you listening?

Are you tending to your soul?

Grab a pen.  Write all the things.

 

BE in your life,

Betsy

 

 

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:29+00:00 April 22nd, 2016|Uncategorized|6 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.   And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.
  • Kathy Mercure

    Love! So true!

  • You know what I just thought about …

  • ooops … clicked the wrong thing … I just thought about authors from long ago and they didn’t have all the people telling them how to write. They just wrote. and wrote. and wrote.

    The gift of research can also be the stumbling block.

    Same with painting. How would my art be different if I just committed to painting every day. Its getting there. Working in studio today. organizing, putting things in order, organizing my time.

    • Cynthia – So, true! I did think about that as I was proofing the post and thinking about all of the books on writing that I own. There is certainly a fair measure of get-it-right-so-I-won’t-be-rejected in the mix. One of the reasons that projects like this are so powerful for me is that they cut through the over-thinking and cause me to just put work out in the world. All the #lifepoints to you for time in the studio! Can’t wait to see the overflow.

  • I just wrote to you that I have found it more difficult to wrap words around my life. I haven’t been writing. Have tried. It hasn’t come … not that it hasn’t come easily ( or not) but it simply hasn’t come. I sit with pen in hand, unable. You know this … you know that the art journaling has been lost. We’ve talked about why and how to restore it. and I settled into to holding space for whatever this is. this dormant place. Maybe I am the bulb underground, waiting to emerge.

    I do see the light now. It is coming back to me in pieces. and the lesson to me is to ease into surrender, to allow, to fret not. To trust that I will always return to myself.

    • I love this. I needed the reminder. To honor. To ease into surrender. To fret not. The dormant place can feel like death and ending rather than waiting-to-emerge. I know that you’ve struggled with words and expression, and yet you write: “To trust that I will always return to myself.” Perfect words to wrap around this season.