The bones


From writing down the bones by Natalie Goldberg ( that touches on yesterdays topic) - One of the main aims in writing practice is to learn to trust your own mind. One poem or story( or post) doesn't matter one way or the other. It's the process of writing and life that matters. Too many writers have written great books and gone insane or alcoholic or killed themselves. This process teaches about sanity. We are trying to become sane along with our poems and stories.

I also like what she says here: Discipline has always been a cruel word. I always think of it as beating my lazy part into submission and that never works. The dictator and the resister continue to fight. If those characters in you want to fight, let them fight. Meanwhile the sane part of you should quietly get up, go over to your notebook and begin to write from a deeper , more peaceful place. Unfortunately those two fighters often come with you ; so you might have to give them 5 or 10 minutes of voice ; let them carry on in writing, it is amazing that when you give those voices writing space their complaining quickly gets boring and you get sick of them. She tells of a friend who was beginning her first novel and would sit at the typewriter for the first ten minutes and just write about what a terrible writer she was, what a jerk she was to even attempt a novel. Then she tore up the sheet and began the next chapter of her novel.
There is a Zen saying, "talk when you talk, walk when you walk, die when you die."- Write when you write. Stop battling yourself with guilt, accusations and strong arm threats.

She then gives 6 practical suggestions on how to get yourself going which you will have to buy the book to read as I am getting tired of typing. ( I wonder if it is still in print-Shambala 1986). She ends the chapter by saying: Just don't get caught in the endless cycle of guilt, avoidance, and pressure. When it is your time to write, write.


Patry Francis said...

I think I have that book somewhere. will have to dig it out.

rdl said...

I can't remember if you told me about that book or Jody. She just emailed me, read this and said it is still in print but that Natalie went to a bigger publishing house. Jody was a mgr. at Barnes & Noble in Boston .