Natalie Goldberg expands her thinking about writing practice in her latest book, The True Secret of Writing. You may have heard these ideas before and may be familiar with her other books, Wild Mind and Writing Down The Bones. And it’s good to be reminded of “the basics” of freewrites.
Helpful ideas for writing from Nat:
- Keep your hand moving. If you say you will write for ten minutes, twenty, an hour, keep your hand going. Not frantically, clutching the pen. But don’t stop. This is your chance to break through to wild mind, to the way you really think, see, and feel, rather than how you think you should think, see and feel. This does not mean you have to write orgasmic sex scenes smeared with butter to touch wild mind. You might end up writing about toast, your sore throat, your fingernail. But it will be alive, real.
Yes, even you who have never left home, never stepped out of your gray suit, even you have wild mind . . .
You might write for ten minutes and never land. That’s okay. If you accept your mind at whatever level it is as you begin to write, if you don’t fight it, it will eventually settle . . .
- Feel free to write the worst junk in America. You have to turn over your mind a lot for the gems to pop out . . .
- Be specific. Not car but Cadillac. Not horse but palomino. Not fruit but tangerine
- Lose control. Say what you want to say, not what you think you should say.
Note from Marlene: Pick something to write about and Just write! For ideas on what to write about, click here and here. You can read what others have written and post your writing on The Write Spot Blog.