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 every day.
Write every damn thing, every damn day.
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.
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.
Are you listening?
Are you tending to your soul?
Grab a pen. Write all the things.
BE in your life,