Fan flash: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg is one of my favorite books on the storyteller’s craft. My copy is well-thumbed and marked up and I often turn to it for inspiration when penning my posts.Natalie has a new book out called, The True Secret of Writing. I’m sure it will be a winner as well, but the true secret seems to be pretty simple: Just write! For those of us who find this simple, but not easy, a few of Natalie’s tips might prove helpful:
Don’t get fancy: Natalie recommends not being a computer slave. Buy a pen and a cheap notebook so you can really write anywhere and then get going. Why a “cheap” notebook? So it won’t intimidate you and keep you from writing even lousy stuff in it on the way to writing something great.
Get out: Natalie advocates getting out of your personal space and finding someplace that will let you sit peacefully for a long time and let the muse find you. Like JK Rowling, she seeks out cafes.
Find buddies: Writing can be lonely. It can help to find one or more writing partners who share your desire to write and who may provide some form of inspiration if you get stuck.
Seek silence: Behind words, there is silence. Silence allows us to listen, which is one of the touchstones of writing. And silence gives us a sense of perspective and spaciousness.
Read on: Writers are the true and best teachers. When you read, you’re not just entertaining yourself, you’re analyzing the mind of the author. Reading nourishes the mind, which nourishes our writing.
Write on: Forget about the rules. Forget about a fancy studio. Forget about talking about writing. Just write! And then, write some more. And write on.