Today, I’m sharing excerpts from Julia Cameron’s varied works. She is the author of 40 fiction and non-fiction books, including The Artist’s Way and Finding Water. Look for curated content from her other works in the future.
Here are three gems from The Right to Write…
“When we ‘forget ourselves’, it is easy to write. We are not standing there, stiff as a soldier, our entire ego shimmied into every capital ‘I’. When we forget ourselves, when we let go of being good, and settle into just being a writer…When we are just the vehicle, the storyteller and not the point of the story, we often write very well—we certainly write more easily.”
“The trick to finding writing time, then, is to write from love and not with an eye to product…The lies we tell ourselves about writing and time are all connected to envy, to the fairy tale notion that there are others whose lives are simpler, better funded, more conducive to writing than our own.”
“Early in my writing life, I tried to polish as I went…Writing this way was frustrating, difficult, and disheartening, like trying to write a movie and cut it at the same time.”
“The danger of writing and rewriting at the same time was that it was tied in to my mood. In an expansive mood, whatever I wrote was great. In a constricted mood, nothing was good.” [Note: I’m pretty sure you can figure out her solution.]
Todd Henry began ‘speaking to me’ way back in 2015 when part of my job was to create something ‘new’ or ‘more original’ than what was already out there.
This author/creator of four books [Die Empty, The Accidental Creative, and Louder Than Words, and Herding Tigers–I have the first three.] has been a go-to ‘mentor’ ever since. >>NON-affiliate link to his books
Let’s ‘listen in’ to this excerpt from his newsletter that arrived yesterday [3/30/2018]:
“You have one job: get whatever is in you out. Your one and only job today, and every day, is to get whatever is in you out. Not tomorrow’s work, not yesterday’s work, but today’s. On my computer monitor is a note that reads, “Can I lay my head down tonight satisfied with the work I did today?” If I have made my contribution that day, I can rest with a clean conscience.
Do not be dulled, friends. Do not allow the lull of comfort to cause you to abdicate your contribution. Stay sharp. Keep your edges. Nothing – NOTHING – is worth giving up the most precious thing you have to offer.”
Hey, there is not this vast expanse of creative time and energy in front of us.
We have to get to it.
Find your creative tools of choice.
Start with five minutes.
Then maybe ten minutes.
And let’s see where it takes us.
NOTE: I ‘borrowed’ this post from my other blog, retirerenew.com .
I confess to allowing my inboxes to be overloaded with quality resources that I don’t consistently pursue. Not so with Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletters…
Here are two Austin Kleon items that I vouch for:
1. Working On It [5 Quick Thoughts on Writing]
2. How to Keep Going [Take time to watch his 26-minute talk OR, if you’re pressed for time, lock in his list of ten tips and bookmark the page for a later viewing.
Two of my favorites:
—The ordinary + extra attention = extraordinary.
—Build a ‘bliss station’. [borrowed from Joseph Campbell]
Quote from Austin: “Airplane mode is not just a setting on your phone; it can be a way of life.”
Another of his tips: You are allowed to change your mind. Well, here goes…I was going to add a third A. Kleon gem, but other commitments arose and I just plain wanted this out in the world, so I’m changing my mind and sharing only two. Thanks, Austin, for the license to do so!
And believe me, these two items are value-packed. So, turn on Airplane Mode and enjoy.
More worthwhile points from If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman. [Not an affiliate link. I just couldn’t easily find his own website.]
- ” ‘Who needs another book on writing?’ ”
I needed to write this book for myself–to see if I could take what I had learned over the years and write about it my way, with my particular slant on things.”
- “Remember: There’s nothing new under the sun. So don’t let an old idea stand in your way, not for a second. Don’t sit around waiting for the Big Idea; start with a small idea (like “two women go on a road trip”) and make it big.”
- A quote from John Cougar Mellencamp: “All I can really do is entertain myself, and hope along the way I can entertain somebody else.”
One of my favorite recent purchases [August 2017 is recent for me] is the book, If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman. [Not an affiliate link. I just couldn’t easily find how own website.]
Here are a few points I’ve revisited today in my reading session:
- “Whether you’re struggling with a single sentence or polishing a book-length manuscript, let progress be your guide, not perfection your nemesis.”
- “Along the way, you’ll develop technique, stamina and—if you’re lucky—the ability to make your next effort better than the last.”
- “Conquer your worry about not writing by writing every day—either by counting the minutes or counting the pages.” In my case, I’ve been counting the words. I’ve done so ever since the January 500 Word Challenge.
My other blog has the full post.
But I have to say, considering today is back to mid-50’s and damp,
I’m really pleased with yesterday’s lack of ambition.
The only thing that would make yesterday better is having a new dog cruising the yard…or mercilessly begging. [Sorry, writing police, for using an adverb.]