Friday, April 29

shut up, sit down and write

A friend let me borrow Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, a book I had never heard of. I'm sure writers of all sorts have a weathered copy of this that they beat up, wore down and used until they needed another recharge. Or they should, but things come into our lives when they're supposed to. And that's where I'm at, the point where I need a friend, a book, a quote, a something to make me sit down and write. So on weekend mornings I sit out on the patio with my coffee and spend as much time as I can reading and writing. Dedicating time to writing is the only way it's going to happen, so this is it.

I can think about writing all day, but actually doing it takes work. I don't trust myself anymore, if a good first line doesn't come, then what follows is equally not as good. And I haven't had many good first lines lately. But she says to fill notebooks if that's what it takes. So without a teacher, without a group of people to connect to I'm doing the exercises and I'll see what happens.

But what I want to say is that every sentence in this book makes me feel alive. How can I explain this without sounding overdramatic and cheesy? I don't think I can yet, so I'll just say that it's a huge deal to see how she can put into words every emotion and experience I've gone through as I process my thoughts to paper.

Straight from the book:

Actually, every time we begin, we wonder how we ever did it before. Each time is a new journey with no maps.

We are not running wildly after beauty with fear at our backs.

Own anything you want in your writing and then let it go.

That moment you can finally align how you feel inside with the words you write; at that moment you are free because you are not fighting those things inside.

The power is always in the act of writing.

We can step through moons right into bears.

Things that haunt them, things they can't forget, stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released.

There is freedom in being a writer and writing. It is fulfilling your function.

You disappear, you are simply recording the thoughts that are streaming through you.

Finally, one just has to shut up, sit down and write.

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