A couple of years ago, I read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. Like Julia Camerons’, The Artist’s Way, this book had a great influence on my writing. I’m still trying to incorporate all I picked up from both these books into my writing. I’d go so far as to say that both of them are life-changing books for me.
Today, while urging you to read both these books, I’d like to share some quotes from Writing Down To The Bones. As you will see from these quotes, the book encourages you to write authentically and bravely. And that’s something we are commited to at Write Tribe.
Write about whatever matters to you. Don’t be afraid of making yourself vulnerable.
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
Writing is a way of finding ourselves ‘home’. Of coming home to ourselves.
“I write because I am alone and move through the world alone. No one will know what has passed through me… I write because there are stories that people have forgotten to tell, because I am a woman trying to stand up in my life… I write out of hurt and how to make hurt okay; how to make myself strong and come home, and it may be the only real home I’ll ever have.”
The critics around you and those within you are not to be feared.
“If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you. Besides, those voices are merely guardians and demons protecting the real treasure, the first thoughts of the mind.”
Writing is a journey you take alone. You dig deep within. You find YOU.
“Anything you do fully is an alone journey.”
The details of your life matters. Your story matters. Tell it.
“We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important.”
Write bravely. Creatively. Take chances.
“Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.”
Writing helps you to find yourself.
“We all have a dream of telling our stories-of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate.”
Good writing takes practice.
“It is odd that we never question the feasibility of a football team practicing long hours for one game; yet in writing we rarely give ourselves the space for practice.”
Writing is what you are supposed to do.
“There is freedom in being a writer and writing. It is fulfilling your function. I used to think freedom meant doing whatever you want. It means knowing who you are, what you are supposed to be doing on this earth, and then simply doing it.”
And finally. The most simple and most vital of them all.
“Keep your hand moving.”
For Day 6 of the Write Tribe Festival of Words #4, we urge you to take these powerful words on board.
Two possible prompts:
1. Use one or more of these quotes in your writing.
2. Goldberg suggests choosing a color, going for a walk and then writing about everything you see on the walk that is that color, or everything that reminds you of that color. A great exercise in mindfulness too.
Write down to your bones today!