More excerpts from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write
In her chapter on specificity…
“For me, part of the ability to be specific has to do with writing to a specific someone, someone who ‘gets you’. I know that writers are often told not to think about their audience, but I think that advice can be difficult to use. The audience then becomes something vague and amorphous. How do you communicate with that?”
“Choose someone on whom nothing will be wasted, someone with an appetite for life in all its messy glory. That someone will enjoy your writing specifically. Write specifically to that someone.” [This is helping me with a current middle-grade fiction project. TH]
“It is a great paradox that the more personal, focused, and specific your writing becomes, the more universally it communicates.”
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.]
From a favored source of inspiration…
Another rejuvenating tip from Joel at Lifehack:
Do an info-dump so your head is clear enough to create instead of worry.
I’ve referred to Julia Cameron’s ‘morning pages’ before, but they are well worth revisiting. Quote from Cameron: “There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–
they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.'”
Srini Rao, in his Why I Write 1000 Words Every Day, advocates this approach as well.
Quote from Rao:
“By getting incoherent thoughts out of your head and onto a blank page, you make room for coherent thoughts and better ideas.”
Note: Joel at Lifehack also suggests singing in the shower. I held off on sharing that with you, but that was one serious In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida I recently belted out.
Very recently, a fellow writer, miffed at a sleet-and-traffic infested world, wanted to just throw a blanket over her head.
Instead, she rose above her bah-humbug funk and attended a local Christmas Carol celebration. And loved it.
Bravo! Author Julia Cameron would have given this writer props for–in this case unwittingly–making and keeping her ‘artist date’.
See if you can’t fit a little ‘assigned play’ into your day.
Sometimes you’re not sure where to start.
Maybe you don’t need to lock yourself in.
I’ve been using the template above for the last month.
Here is my Eclectic Journal prototype, along with a third page detailing the origins of three of the components.
I hope it works for some of you.
And feel free to pass it along.