Saturday, August 28, 2010


As a published author and longtime writer, I like to tell my audiences:  "We all have stories inside us." I truly believe this. One of the differences between an author and the rest of our world is that the author is a bit less afraid of writing, of taking time to tell his or her story.  An author usually believes, rightly or wrongly, that the story inside him or her is worth telling, and the author takes that risk. It's a leap of faith, but it's done with less fear than most people feel.

In her book, Julia Cameron speaks briefly but from her heart about what "the writing life"--or what I call "the literary self" in this blog--is like. Her book is tiny (only 4 X 6 inches, 102 pages), but it's filled with wisdom. Here are some of the things she says about writing that I heartily embrace:
  • "Why should we write? We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world." (page 1)
  • "Most of us think we can't write. It doesn't have to be like that." (page 10)
  • "The drive to write is a primary human instinct...that primal glee we felt as children when we learned the letters that formed our names and then the words that formed our world...." (page 22)
  • "What writing brings to a life is clarity and tenderness...Writing gives us a place to say what we need to say, but also to hear what we need to hear." (page 52)
And so on. Julia's wisdom is soul-stretching. You might want to read her little book and begin the task of wiping fear of writing from your heart and mind. You have stories (and songs, poems, lectures, etc.?) to tell! Let's relish developing "the literary self" that lives in all of us.

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