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.