Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writing Down the Bones

I am an avid reader. Maybe not as avid as some of my friends, but I always have a few books laying around for reading.  I read mostly non-fiction.  It's not that I don't like fiction - because I do, but there are only so many hours in a day, in a week, in a month and to fit working, homeschooling, quilting, dancing, cooking, and everything else in my life.  Some things have to simply take a back seat until I have more time.  I do read fiction occasionally, but for the most part it's non-fiction for this gal.  There is just so much out there to learn and information is the greatest medicine to my soul.

When I decided to be more serious about writing on the blog I felt like I needed to do some reading about creative writing.  My dear friend Rachel, who there are no words that can express how much I love her friend, suggested Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg to me.  She also suggested Bird By Bird by Anne Lemont as well as Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss.  

I thoroughly enjoyed Bird by Bird and it really made my brain click into place knowing I actually like writing.  I always have.  I have always just thought I wasn't very good at it.  Then I read, Eats, Shoots and Leaves, which is about punctuation and it gave me the courage to see I'm not quite as terrible at punctuation as I thought and there are simply so many rules about it and it depends on who you talk to as to what exactly "right" punctuation is.  I will never say I fully understand punctuation - even after reading a book about it, but at least I've refreshed my memory on when and how to use it to get my point across.

Now, I have finished Writing Down the Bones, and I don't think I will ever see writing the same or creating the same.  I would venture to say, for myself, this is by far one of the most amazingly written books I have ever read.  It is completely digestible and each chapter makes you want to go and write and to write with a fever you simply can't break.  The coolest thing to me about this book is for every chapter if you take what she is saying about writing and apply it to your craft, be it quilting, painting, drawing, singing, whatever, all the lessons fit.  

The more we allow ourselves to explore what we most want to do - even when it is super hard to make yourself and there are a thousand other things in life to be doing, we should still make time for what opens our hearts the most.  This is what is most important to our spirits.  Making time for our craft allows more time to realize the pains we carry around with us.  I think it allows the doorway to healing and it helps us to shift that energy into something more potent in the world, love.  

Natalie Goldberg doesn't say this specifically it is my impression of what she says, but she does talk a lot about getting first thoughts out of us and to keep writing them and to keep letting the feelings come. In my mind, this is where the real healing begins.  Allowing those first thoughts to come and not scolding ourselves for feeling however we feel, but seeing it for what it is and moving forward if change needs to happen.  And most importantly to not stop getting those first thoughts down.  Just because a little bit of feeling comes out doesn't mean we should stop writing them or creating them, we should keep doing it and the more we do it the freer we will be. By giving energy to those feelings and honoring them the more joy we will experience in our lives because we won't be holding that energy inside.

When we see what plagues us in black and white or in color or however you free yourself from your baggage, then it makes it a lot easier to shift into a new perspective and heal those hurts.

Sadly, I checked this book out of the library, but I intend to buy it and keep it by my bedside table along with all my go to books as a reminder - even if I never read it cover to cover again - to simply quilt or write to just be creative and to feel what I feel.  It will be a reminder to continue to allow myself to open up and unfold because like the iris I love so much there is a lot of depth to who we are and when we allow ourselves to open to the sun our beauty is revealed that much more.

My opinion is if you need a book to motivate you to do what you are passionate about and to do it no matter what, then THIS is the book for you.  It was certainly the book for me right now, so thank you Rachel for ALL that you do in my life and thanks for another GREAT book recommendation.

Do you have a book you think I would like?  Please, tell me about it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I am so glad that Goldberg was just who you needed to inspire you to exercise your writing bones and follow your inner voice to the page. You have so much to say and I love it all!