Dear Writer, I hope sharing some of my personal story helps you. The first several years of our writing (for most of us, and for me it was my first decade of writing) — we fall in love with subjects we want to write about. We are compelled to get it down on paper and then we fall in love with our words and stories… we see before us our life and ideas on the page. We have made a new world!! Our love is intense, driven, …passionate, lusty, like all young love. It is also blind. Our beginnings are always romantic, intense, meaningful, … Continue reading
“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are – if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. –Joseph Campbell It takes discipline to follow our bliss. Bliss is a result of having taken some heart-directed action. Bliss is not something some are born with and others are not. Following your bliss gives lasting results of fulfillment, connection and … Continue reading
After the making of breakfasts, and the hours, days, years of working, after the losses and dealing with aging or sickness, after putting the baby to sleep, getting the daughter off to school, after the love-making and the arguing, after the garden has been planted, weeded and harvested, after the son has been married and the animals vaccinated, after the house has been repainted and tree planted, after the second diploma, after teaching others, healing others, after the filling of another journal, after the loss of something precious that can’t be found, after the long trip abroad or the staying … Continue reading
Destiny is wasted on those that go in search of it. Our destinies are not something to find but to release. Yes, like an acorn, our greatest capacities and creations are within us from birth. For us writers this means we experience the most resistance in bringing forth the writer in us. At the same time this is also where we will feel the most push (that energy of that acorn wanting to turn into the big oak tree against the hard outer shell). Push Resistance We want to write. We feel contentment in “having written” something. We believe our … Continue reading
Writing is a delicate, vulnerable, risky vocation. We need to hold our writer self like these young birds. These birds had the instinctual knowing to push through the dark inner world of the shell. They were then cared for and fed. Then they were kicked out of a tree by mama bird. All fine and good had my Jack Russel Terrier not been a threat. Each of us must write through the dark. We may wake up in the comfort and safety of a nest where we are wholly dependent upon others. We all get pushed out of the nest. … Continue reading
My first, and still a favorite book of mine on the writing craft is John Dufresne‘s book, The Lie That Tells The Truth: A Guide to Writing Fiction. It happens to be a resourceful “self-help” book for all writers as well. John, I am excited to say, will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Writer’s Institute at the UW-Madison, where I will be teaching and offering critique for writers. “When a story is based on autobiographical material there is a tendency to be slavish to the facts. You write a scene because ‘that’s the way it happened.’ Well, we don’t care … Continue reading
You have to write. When you don’t write you feel that tug to get back to it. But you wonder and wander . . . can I do this? Can I create something unique in this sea of books? What’s the point? Who am I to write this book? And, how am I to create something that is both unique and meaningful to others? “We never sit anything out. We are cups, quietly and constantly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of … Continue reading
Send a thank you to someone through the post. Share time with others, reading. Reading makes you beautiful. Write your own fairy tale. The one with the most imagination wins. And don’t forget to use your ruby slippers.