Writing is a juicy and delightful experience that opens me up and spills out all manner of experiences on to the page.
I have been exploring writing for over 15 years now. I have a journal that I write in nearly every day.
My journal has been my constant companion and a mirror of the world of Selina. When I have gone through chaos, my journal has been a quite friend listening to the hurt that has hummed through my soul.
My journal has been the one to listen to all the funny 'Bridget Jones' moments of my life.
This has been a practice much like when you come to the mat in yoga. I have been there on a daily basis writing down my world, my hopes, my dreams and processing emotions on the page.
Natalie Goldberg, an amazing author, writer and artist wrote a book entitled Writing Down the Bones, which I downloaded onto my iPod to listen to and deepen my writing practice.
Now, after listening to Natalie's perspective on writing practice, I have decided to take my writing and reflection to the next level.
I feel inspired to get right into the nitty gritty of the detail in a way that I had not before. I feel it is time to deepen my connection and my practice of painting pictures with the written word, without judgement or censorship.
I have already begun to deepen my writing practice in my new notebook.
Here are the rules:
Write down any idea, thought or topic on a page set aside for writing practice. That way, when you feel you have nothing to write about, you can pick a topic and just write for 10 minutes.
Allow obsessions to have a couple of pages where you write about them, or you won't be able to write what is hiding underneath them.
Write garbage. Go on, you're allowed to write rubbish in your writing practice. This is how we peel back the layers and find the true inner voice that whispers.
Time your writing practice. Natalie says that by timing yourself, you give your writing pressure and it brings the writing to life. You no longer wade around in the fluff but get right into the heat of the action, so this is what I am doing.
All writing is valid. There are no restrictions on what I chose to put down on the page.
Fill a notebook every month. No excuses. Write outside of the inked lines, make mistakes, don't worry, just write and keep writing.
"Shut up and write," Natalie says. This is to stop you from wandering and procrastinating. Just come to the page and put pen to paper - start writing. Do it, do it now, shut up and write.
Read out loud what you have written. It is best done with a friend. They are not to give you feedback or critique the writing. Their purpose is just to hear you, nothing else. These people must understand their role in the process and be willing to hear you without any praise or recrimination.
The purpose of writing practice is to get past the judgement and the ego, to the true voice, the beginner's mind as Natalie puts it.
Writing practice is a kind of self-directed meditation that you do not question. You allow whatever surfaces to come up and be on the page. You do not edit it in the process of writing as this will take you out of the moment and the flow of the ideas. Just write. That is all. Simple.
Be alone with your writing practice and see what comes up. See if what you write splits you open and peels back the layers of facade to reveal the amazing human being you are from the inside out.
Thanks so much for the comment Mina. I think Natalie Goldberg is awesome and when you listen to her speak about writing, you just want to run to your writing pad and write for all you're worth. It's beautiful and terrifying what can come out, but oh so worth it! S