I got reacquainted with Natalie Goldberg last week. I’ve never actually met her, but I’ve read most of her books and feel like we know each there where it counts. She has written many books about writing and also memoir. We are from the same tribe. I don’t know how she would feel about that, but I say that because it seems like she has been looking over my shoulder as I write, encouraging me and cheering me on for years. I know when I hear that she has a new book out that I love it already.
Her book, “Writing Down the Bones,” was released this year in its 30th anniversary edition. What I hadn’t realized until I went back and read it again after all these years is – first, wow, I’m old – and second, I have built a life of writing on her foundation. She approaches writing as a practice. It’s not just a way for her to tell a story, but it’s a way for her to express the layers, the nuance, the feelings that all of us have but don’t always get to acknowledge. She lets herself roll around in the words and not get stuck on what’s perfect. Her advice is what I took to heart to Write It Out. Don’t stop yourself. Give the editor who lives in your head ten bucks and send her to lunch. Don’t stop, don’t cross out, don’t second guess what you are writing. Just let it happen. You will get to know yourself in a way that will surprise you.
Write something every day. That is the challenge that I’m giving myself and I would like to bring you along. I’m going to post something every day for two weeks. There isn’t going to be a theme, but please write about something that matters to you, that you enjoy or that speaks to your heart. It doesn’t need to be deep or personal. Just start writing and see what happens. Keep it short. Don’t feel pressured. This is going to be fun! I’ll see you back here tomorrow.