Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A New Earth/ A New Manuscript

I have been stumbling in my writing life. I am scared. I am reworking a novel I thought was finished 2 years ago. It is painful. Am I just beating a dead horse? I love my characters, and I can't let them go. If I put them aside to write something new, I kind of feel as though I am Paris Hilton--bringing home a new puppy and ignoring the other dogs I have. So I have committed to writing through some of this agony. I am listening to the Oprah/Eckhart Tolle online series on A New Earth. I have taken meditation workshops in the past with someone who is a student of Tolle's. I don't feel the lessons are as new for me as they seem to be to some of the folks who call in. The ideas are reminiscent of other teachers I have had both in person and in books. (I don't quite believe Oprah when she says she is having these A-Ha moments because she, too, has been a student of this way of life for years.) Still, I like listening to the online tutorials because they help reinforce key ideas in my mind and in my practice. The lessons are helping me in my writing life. I work to become present, centering myself in that place of nothingness-- where no words exist but from which they all spring. I take care to enjoy the process of linking words and phrases, playing with language. It isn't always easy to do the last part which is to write without thought of the future or expectation. I seem to have given up that luxury when I decided I should do this for a living, but I am trying to let the outcome occur in its own space rather than to force it. Keep my writing going forward and refrain from editing. At this point in the game, I just want to get as much down as possible. I can prune later.
Another thing I am trying to do is to journal after I am done with my writing for the day. Just a few sentences about how I felt, where my writing is going, and to give myself a specific assignment for the next day so I don't get lost getting back into the stream of it all.

My developing practice:

Show up every day
Center myself in the silence
Enjoy the play of putting words together
Refrain from expectation (Or Be open to possibility)
Limit editing
Journal briefly about my writing experience for the day
Give myself an assignment or starting point for tomorrow
Go for a walk/run in nature

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