|Natalie Goldberg (photo compliments of Dickinsonstateu)|
When it comes to writing, writing practice, writing lessons to be learned and writing lessons yet to be developed, as every writer serious about writing memoir will tell you, eventually, most assuredly, sooner or later, discovers the long quiet highway to Taos for a writer's retreat and meets the master herself, Natalie Goldberg, author of "Writing Down the Bones."
Held at The Mabel Dodge-Luhan Lodge in Taos, New Mexico, this writer who has traveled that road more than once, can attest, it leaves a writer with everlasting respect for the craft and more tools for the writer's tool box. Getting to Taos is not easy. From the east, it's two airplanes and a two hour shuttle trek.
Nat's workshops are different.
There's no talking, slow walking, no commenting, no judging, lots of sitting and nobody gets a ham sandwich for lunch.
Some participants grumble privately, secretly and inwardly; some feel weird, strange and question what the heck are we doing? And others, like myself, realize that writing is a journey, and the importance of structure, breaking it; finding the underbelly and writing from the heart, because lessons rooted in Buddhism are deep, powerful, moving and what will get me as an aspiring author to put words on paper and lose that fear to let it all hang out, is reason good enough to make that trip, again and again.
It is a truism, one I openly admit. Natalie Goldberg is a celebrity. She is famous. Her book,"Writing Down the Bones," written more than a decade ago, is still a best seller, as well it should be. Used as a primer for college students studying the craft of writing, it is the first book this writer picked up when she first came out the writing closet and what got her scribbling fast faster fastest.
Whenever I'm blocked, feeling weary, questioning my ability and talent and cannot write--I read Nat.
And before I know it, my fingers are writing again--like the wind!
What about you?
What gets your creative juices going? How do you maintain that daily writing habit? What kick starts your brain into action?
Who is your mentor?
Care to share?
Why, or why not?
"Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. --Mark Twain
When writing memoir, remember this: Publishers and editors do not check facts. If you do write something, make certain it is truth.
Now go write something. Just do it.
I dare you.
See you in print,
Linda Della Donna
P. S. I'd love it if you stopped my other blog, Griefcase, and left a comment. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day and reading me.