This is the feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thought and feeling, invigorating every word. T. S. Eliot
Get your groove goin’! It’s time to write!
Here’s why I like Writing the Natural Way by Gabriele Lusser Rico: It works. There. Now you can go on with your day. Shortest blog post ever. Not really. Keep reading! 🙂
This book was written twenty-five years ago. No, wait. For crying out loud! I totally skipped a decade. It’s actually thirty-five years old. I do that with my kids, too. I think they’re in their twenties when in fact, they’re all in their thirties. Mid-thirties, even. Which makes me… ? Nevermind. And yes, I digress.
This book is a little bit science (stuff about the brain) and a little bit classroom (there are activities and exercises)… a little bit self-help (If you’re someone who struggles with understanding who you really are… this book will help you find that person)… and a little bit just fun.
Everything in this book boils down to one word: authenticity.
As Rico says: “This is the essence of natural writing: expression that is unique and authentic to you, your own ‘voice’ heard […] on the page.”
I know in my earlier years, my writing was often for others. In my journals, I worried that someone else would read it. Therefore, I was careful about details… but something else… I was careful about my grammar and actually, have white-out on some of the pages. I didn’t want someone who happened across my writing to think I was an idiot. Talk about self-censoring! And perfectionism! Ugh!
Later, I wrote several novels. Actually, I should say I *started* several novels. At first, I enjoyed the process. But then, something would get in the way — and by “something” I really mean “someone“. I’d let someone read it or I’d talk to someone about it and if there was even a hint of critique, I stopped. Other times, I didn’t plan… and in my quest to write “the next bestseller” got lost in what I thought someone would want to read instead of what I wanted to write. Once, in my fervor, I accidentally killed off half a town. Seriously.
Enjoyment? There was none.
And my blogs? Well, I’m notorious for starting and stopping them, as you know. It took me … what?… six or seven blogs… to finally find my voice. My voice is here. This blog. Hi, this is me. Nice to meet you!
How did I find my voice?
The book has many neat things going for it… but for me… my favorite exercise is what she calls “clustering”. It’s the kind of thing that can break the dam open if you’re stuck. I don’t want to give the whole thing away or make it too simplistic… but I will say that if you can come up with one thing… one core thing… you can go from there. And I mean: one word. Just one. Everyone can come up with one word, even in the midst of a writer’s block. Right?
So, you may wonder what this blog has that none of my others did? (i.e. what did this book help me realize?)
I had no direction.
And yes, my unique voice was always lacking. Just a bit.
Both were found doing the exercises in the book.
Now where are all those novels I began?
Time to revisit, don’cha think?
How about you? Do you have a novel in you? Or a blog? Let’s get writing!