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Posts from the ‘Creativity’ Category

Gleanings: A good thing to ponder, the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, The Right to Write…

A good thing to ponder:

“You have to be careful, Grace,” said Phuti. “You never know.”

You never know. She had pondered the words. No, one never knew, but just as you never knew what difficulties you might encounter, you also never knew about the positive things the future might hold. ~ Alexander McCall Smith, The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe. 

The New Year is fast upon us. I think I’ll spend some time pondering what good things the future might hold. This will take deliberate effort, and several cups of tea.

“There is a great happiness in letting myself write. I don’t always do it well, or need to, but I do need to do it. There is a great and simple satisfaction, like tagging base with a friend. There is a ‘me’ that emerges in relationship to writing, like the me that emerges in certain friendships, who makes me laugh.” ~ Julia Cameron, The Right to Write.

I find the same with writing. Writing is a loving, accepting relationship with myself. It encourages my highest, best self. This realization makes me more willing to give it time and energy.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, dear readers.







Gleanings: The Right to Write and Miracle On I-40

“Aiming for that, I learned to write setting judgment aside…I called this new, freer writing ‘laying track’. For the first time I gave myself emotional permission to do rough drafts and for those rough drafts to be, well, rough.” ~Julia Cameron, The Right to Write.

Cameron writes that she learned to write more freely. She learned to give herself permission to do this. Learning involves repeated attempts. It is done with choice after choice, until one becomes good at it. You don’t have to be good at writing freely. You can learn it.

Some of us are compulsive fixers with our writing. (Raise my hand.) It is simply a trait or habit we were born with or acquired along the way. There is a good side to this. We turn out clean copy. But when we can’t let ourselves write because we are attempting to write and to polish at the same time, we get crazy and can’t write at all. Some of us must repeatedly practice reminding ourselves that we are writing rough drafts–and let ourselves do so. I’ve found that when I let myself be free to write badly, I’m quite pleased with what I do write.

From Miracle On I-40:

“Maybe he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus because Santa doesn’t bring him anything–because he’s too grumpy all the time.”

“Oh, sweetie, Santa brings everyone presents. Even grumpy people. He loves everyone…but maybe Cooper can’t see the presents, so he doesn’t accept them.” She took Anna’s hand.

“That’s one of those things I’ll understand when I’m older, right?” Anna said very seriously.

Sometimes we have something, even a heart’s desire, but because we can’t see it, can’t believe we have it, maybe can’t believe we deserve it, we don’t. Allow ourselves to believe we can have the desire, and then we will open our eyes to see. We will take a step in the direction toward our desire. Believing comes first. It isn’t seeing, then believing. It is believing first, and then what we believe unfolds before us.

Just some ‘rough-draft’ thoughts today. Take what you like and leave the rest. Christmas is upon us, and I’m in a hurry, but I’m getting my hour of writing in.

Gleanings– Living the Writer’s Life, by Eric Maisel

I point out that the subtitle of Eric Maisel’s book, Living the Writer’s Life, is ‘a complete self-help guide’. I’ve always had more trouble being the writer than with the act of writing. On page 90, he begins a list of sixty writers’ challenges. Fascinating. I came to:

Chaos. Make ‘to do’ lists on erasable boards. Pull the essentials out of the chaos. Lock onto your current writing idea and do not let go until it has grown whole and beautiful. ~ Eric Maisel

My life is chaos. It is what I grew up with. I see this with sudden clarity. It’s said that what we grow up with in our first six years is the way we continue to live. No wonder I’ve continued to live with so much chaos. I’ve come to acceptance– much of that being accepting the need to let go of the chaos that I myself create out of sheer habit. It’s a start. I can’t do anything about the chaos foisted upon me by the world.

Dear Lord, don’t complicate my life further by having to find an erasable board. I use a notebook, and I scribble, but it does help. What seems to help the most is to commit to the writing. I like that idea of locking onto my current writing idea. That serves as an anchor. A commitment, from a person who so hates and fears commitment. But I’ve done it. I realized this morning that I’m writing on a new fiction project, really writing. I do about a page or two a day. I was trying for more, but couldn’t do it, so I would give up. Now that I’m only requiring that I write on it every day, I’m doing at least a page, sometimes two, sometimes three.

The writing of fiction is helping me to make sense of my chaotic world.


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