The first day was titled, “Begin,” and Cameron says to just start writing where you are. That it’s a luxury to be in the mood to write and that being in the mood is not necessary. She also says that “writing is like breathing–it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.”
She goes on to talk about toddlers and how they learn first be grabbing for things, then grabbing with words, and that their words are “personal and powerful,…filled with will and intent…they trust the power of words.” But along the way, usually in school, we lose that power over words, that feeling that we are good at language, and we begin to feel that we might not be good enough with words.
In school your words are critiqued with things like “You stray from the topic a bit here,” or “Stick to the point,” or if you’re me, “Too much fluff.” So we end up learning to doubt ourselves and with that comes self-scrutiny, which results in trying to write “right” so that we sound smart. She gives you an exercise to work on, she calls these the Initiation, and where she talks its called the Invitation.
The second exercise, for my the second day, May 2nd, is “Let yourself Write.” Cameron talks a great deal about writing, being a writer, and what a writer is. My favorite quote from this section is:
“When we just let ourselves write, we get it right.”
The exercise she gives you has to do with what you think being a real writer is. I found it quite interesting, as well as revealing.
On day 3, is “Let Yourself Listen.” She says that “the simplest and smartest thing I ever learned about writing is the importance of a sense of direction.” She goes on to say that writing is “about getting something down, not about thinking something up.” Instead of being an “act of pontification, writing becomes an act of revelation.” We can either “think a plot up” or we can “jot a plot down.”
On Day 4, is the “Time Lie,” and this one really hit home for me. She starts off this section with this powerful sentence.
“If I had a year off, I’d write a novel.”
It’s a lie. A lie. She says that that is a “convenient way to ignore the fact that novels require being written and that writing happens a sentence at a time,” and that you can steal moments to write, and with each sentence and/or moment you write you’ll feel better, good about yourself and your writing.
One of the other things she says that really hit home for me was, “Don’t try to write something perfect; just write…the obsession with time is really an obsession with perfection.”
All of that really hit home for me, and I also saw a quote, which was one of my quotes for the day, which was from Stephen King, “300 words a day in one year’s time is a novel.” Synchronicity.
Day 5, was Track. And she likens writing to laying tracks, like railroad track, getting from point A to point B. She talks about the “rich, fertile, whimsical” side of the brain is for laying track, and the logic brain side is for second drafts. Right brain/left brain.
Some of what she talks about she spoke about in “The Artist Way.” I don’t mind though. Each section has made me think, given me food for thought so to speak, and inspired me. The next morning my morning pages were better. I can’t recommend this book enough. “The Artist’s Way” broke the surface of helping me with the creativity, with my writing. I have a feeling that this book is going to help me delve even deeper underneath the surface. My whole goal for this year, like my word–Positivity, was to change things for the better, to be more positive, to find my inner joy, to live a happier, healthier life and to be a healthier, happier me. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been working on taking back my life, on what I am calling #projectme. I feel like it’s working.
I’ve set up this whole “course” in a journal. I’m excited about all of this and feeling really motivated and inspired. I hope you are as well.