On Daily Writing

527623_501413269894758_949104269_nTwo of the most well-known books on unleashing creativity are: Writing Down the Bones- Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg, and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Both authors approach art as a spiritual practice. Both recommend daily writing as an essential part of that practice. Both encourage a disregard for spelling, grammar, and handwriting during daily writings. Neither seems to care if the writing is good, only that the artist sinks into the process. There are different ways to do this, such as committing to a certain number of pages each day, or giving oneself a minimum amount of time to write. You can check out the above links to learn more about how it works.

I both love and hate these pages. I rebel often by writing complaints the whole time or skipping them altogether. But I am happier with this time to write without regard to the listener. The structure reminds me to write regularly even if it’s not a new poem.  The frustrations that so often plague my hamster-wheel brain fall out of the writing eventually, and I have room to let life in. Here’s a random sample from my current journal:

“A flash of light. The yogurt container- a full organic, low-fat, vanilla-flavored quart.”

“Morning runs are always more difficult for me because I’m a groggy in the morning and haven’t eaten yet.”

“I’ve been too hard on this place.”

“My thumbnail has gotten long and digs into the side of my pointer finger around the curve of my pencil.”

“I ended up putting a quarter of it in the dispose-all, which clogged the sink again.”

“A warm pastry with so much butter it leaves my lips glossed with grease. Stuffed with chocolate. THANK YOU GOD.”

“I feel like a bag of knotted ropes, or better, a pile of overdone spaghetti without oil, all stuck together and mushing in the colander.”

“I don’t know if this practice makes me a better writer, but I’m sure it makes me a better person.”