Have you read Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed? If you haven’t, I recommend you do.
A few months ago Rach lent me both of Cheryl’s books; the one I just mentioned, as well as her epic memoir, Wild. Wild had me aching for adventure; for journeys into the unknown, for sore, tired, hiked-out legs. She’s unlike any writer I’ve ever had the pleasure of pouring over. Compelling doesn’t even cut it.
And Tiny Beautiful Things; Advice on Life and Love from Dear Sugar, has left me hungry to scribble. I’m burning for the written word right now. Burning to write it and read it and paint it and type it and cross it out and start all over again.
Her advice is this book (which is in response to the seeking, suffering folks who write to her, asking for her guidance) is soul-shakingly brilliant. It’s beautiful and brutal- together, and to be honest, I’m at a loss for words at how to describe it, so just buy it. Put it this way, after receiving a letter from a reader who was concerned whether her writing career would take off, Cheryl’s advice was shocking:
Write like a Motherfucker.
They even make ‘Write like a Motherfucker’ mugs. No joke.
So. I’m writing like a mofo. I’m reading like one too; at the moment, I’m reading about magic and sacred wheels and native traditions and a whole bunch of other stuff I never thought I’d be interested in reading. And I’m getting excited. I want to read stuff from eons ago and start making a Book of Shadows and buy a new moleskin and attend creative workshops.
Basically, I feel really alive. And I’m channeling much of that energy in a joint project with Rach, which is sure to swallow you whole and light you up. So watch this space.
This morning I had my first personal training/yoga/intention setting/massage session with Brieann from Wabi-sabi Well, who – apart from being a total Goddess – happens to be a lover of creative writing, also. She shared with me that moving our bodies – getting the blood moving, getting our sweat on – cracks open our meridian lines so energy can flow freely. The move we move, the more creative (and productive) we are.
Makes sense. It’s all about flow really, isn’t it? Unlocking what’s blocked. Clearing the channel. Allowing nature to do as nature does, without getting in the way and screwing it all up.
Which brings me to my next point.
I do not believe in writer’s block.
Holding onto a belief of writer’s block means holding onto a belief that you are the sole keeper of the creative force in your life.
Nope. That doesn’t work for me. For one, it’s too much pressure – the self-constructed burden of Being the Source of All Things Wonderful and Creative – and secondly, I like to think that I have a cosmic team, cheering me on with each and every word that comes through me, via them.
I love the way Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the creative process in her incredible TedTalk: Your Elusive Creative Genius. Maybe this is why I feel closer to Spirit, closer to the mystery of life when I’m in my journal or writing from heart-space. Maybe there’s a fairy that sits on my sill, throwing articulate glitter on my keyboard as I type this.
It’s all about surrendering to creative flow. It’s about writing like a motherfucker when the juice is on, and being okay with yourself – with life, with work, with blogging, with inspiration – when it’s not. Just like a bear hibernates in winter, so too shall we experience ‘Writer’s Block’, or what Wayne Dyer calls ‘the joy of this present moment as a writer.’
So yes, give me a pen and note pad, and a quiet place to sit, but don’t let me sit there too long, because while this soul longs to express and philosophise and make sense of things with letters and punctuation, this body damn well likes to move. Let’s tango.
There are some stereotypes to break here. Stereotypes that suggest all writers are sufferers. All writers are hermits. All writers are pale and socially stunted and perpetually perturbed. Can a ‘writer’ have a long, yogic body, a sun-kissed complexion and a bright disposition? I vote yes.
How I celebrated Self-Centred Sundays this week.
Reading. Epsom salt bathing. Nut milk making. National Park walking. Self-crystal-healing. Throw in a coffee enema, some zucchini spaghetti and the season finale of The Block, and you have yourself a delicious, slow-paced, nourishing Sunday.
Here’s how YOU celebrated! Hashtag that shit #selfcentredsundays
I’ve got an eBook to finish! A husband to welcome home! About 7639 books to read! Candles to light!
Can you tell I’m stoked?
Let’s say my word for this week will be: ZEST.
Care to share yours? Let me know, mofo.