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The Right to Write

My life is set to change whether I like it or not (I like it). There is no doubt this change will be hard. But while my life is changing I might as well revert to the habit that served me well before I got sidetracked.


Trouble is, it's not quite like riding a bike. You forget how to do it. You're like the rusty old Tin Man standing in the apple orchard, totally locked up until Dorothy and Scarecrow come along and figure out you need your joints oiled.

Julia Cameron is my Dorothy. Stephen King is my scarecrow.

I've started reading The Write to Right. Again. But this time, I think it's gonna provide the oil I need to get my joints moving.

First essay: Begin. From it I culled these nuggets:
  • "The first trick, the one I am practicing now, is to just start where you are." (p. 1)
  • "We are trained to self-doubt, to self-scrutiny in the place of self-expression." (p. 3)
  • "Most of us try to write too carefully. We try to do it 'right.' We try to sound smart. We try, period. Writing goes much better when we don't work at it so much. When we give ourselves permission to just hang out on the page." (p. 3)
  • "Guilty pleasure is what writing is all about." (p. 3)
My joints are creaky, but here I am. I'm just starting where I are. Hells yeah, my constant companions are self-doubt and self-scrutiny, but I can't fucking see without my glasses. See how I just expressed myself? Now I'm getting somewhere.

I've worked hard to get it right and as a result I don't write at all. Famous words from my 500-year-old Jedi master: "Do, or do not. There is no try." I think he trained Julia, too.

The Initiation Tool Julia suggests is this: "Take three sheets of 8-1/2 by 11 paper. Start at the top of page one and for three pages describe how and what you are feeling right now." Well, shit, Julia. Do you have any idea how tiny my handwriting is? On three sheets of 8-1/2 by 11 paper I could describe how and what I am feeling for the next three days. I modified the initiation tool and wrote for three full pages in my journal. "This is a free-form excercise. You cannot do it wrong."

"Get current."

Got it.


Ana said…
This post made my day.
sulu-design said…
I'm so glad to read the parenthetical note in line one!

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