I have a new sticker for my laptop. It reads ‘Get Lost. Write.’ The sticker is from Camp Nanowrimo.
Getting lost in my writing is a good thing. Getting lost and scared before I write is not a good thing.
There is no map for writing. The map is created as I move my head and heart and hands across the page and the keyboard. I call myself Writer. I could call myself Explorer.
I read other writers’ maps, and they give me clues to what I might find in my map. The key word is ‘might’. Their maps are not mine. The map I create is my own, the trails and geography unique to me.
I have learned to start here, exactly where I am in my life in this moment. I learned this from Julia Cameron’s and Natalie Goldberg’s maps.
I know here, a familiar place to step out from. If I come to my day’s writing feeling lost and scared, forgetting how the words always do flow, I start here. Where I am, what the weather is doing, how I am feeling, what I want to write today. I let my writing be just what I am thinking, seeing, feeling, what is in front of me. I do this as long as I need to. And then my head and heart and hands slip from thinking about my writing to just writing.
The writing is not scary. It’s the thinking that is scary, and it’s not real. It’s not true.
What is true is the writing I have already done. The ideas I have for writing not yet created. The place I have made for myself in my life to write and love what I write. The permission I have given myself.
I am a Writer, an Explorer. I create my map as I go, and I always start here.
Mentioned in this post:
Julie Cameron, ‘The Artist’s Way’ and more http://juliacameronlive.com
Natalie Goldberg. ‘Writing Down the Bones’ and more http://nataliegoldberg.com
Camp Nanowrimo http://campnanowrimo.org