This past week I read “Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life” by Natalie Goldberg. I fell in love with Natalie’s voice with “Writing Down the Bones” earlier this year and had to check out the sequel.
Wild Mind is a collection of essays about the life of a writer. Most of the essays are about 3-4 pages in length and include a “try this” section at the end of each topic so you can apply what you read with a short writing prompt.
I love when an author is so fired up about writing that it becomes infectious to read. Each time I read a section from this book I became inspired to put it down and get some words onto my own page.
Writing is a lonely profession. We live inside our own mind for long stretches of time, usually secluded from distractions, and it’s refreshing to learn I’m not alone; other writers struggle with the same problems I do. It’s all in how you decide to overcome those obstacles and if you’re able to follow through with your passion.
Natalie emphasizes the importance of continuing to write even when you’d rather not, or when your inner editor is screaming at you — just keep writing. She says that like athletes in training, writers must use their writing “muscles” over and over without ceasing.
My favorite quotes from the book:
“A writer must be willing to sit at the bottom of the pit, commit herself to stay there, and let all the wild animals approach, even call them up, then face them, write them down, and not run away.”
“Let some of the good writing go. Don’t worry. There’ll be lots of it over time. You can’t use all of it. Be generous and allow some of it to lie fallow. What a relief! We can’t write well and let it go.”
“You have to let writing eat your life and follow it where it takes you. You fit into it; it doesn’t fit neatly into your life. It makes you wild.”
Now I’m moving on to “My Heart and Other Black Holes” by Jasmine Warga. What are you reading this week?