Tuesday, May 25, 2010
My spiritual writing teacher...
I've been stumbling around with my project, trying to write stories and feeling out of sorts about it all and getting poorly developed ideas down and finishing nothing.
But I returned to my roots. I listened to an old audiobook I had on my ipod by my spiritual writing teacher Natalie Goldberg. The book is actually her speaking at a writing seminar somewhere. In just 20 short minutes into the talk, she revealed that when she was preparing to write her novel, Banana Rose, she had been in a terrible writing slump for months. She was trying to write in some formulaic method like she'd learned in high school English class, trying to attack it from an overly organized approach. One day she finally said to hell with it and went to a coffee shop in Santa Fe and did what she'd taught herself and what she'd been preaching to the rest of us: let it rip. Put the pen to paper, don't stop writing, don't edit - let it rip. In that two hours she came up with the persona of her main character, and she wrote the rest of the novel in that way.
Of course! That's it! The same thing I'm going through! So I did that. Went to my writing place - a secret little coffee shop where I do my best work - and let it rip. Two days of that and I now have two of the richest stories I know on paper in raw form that reads well unedited and is the momentum I needed to move this project along.
And it feels great....