A Writer's Journal

A Writer's Journal

 

Using the Soul as Writing Prompt

 
Yesterday, frustrated and 
unable to focus on my writing,
I let my mind off its leash
to wander as it wished--
I tagging along with scratch pad in hand,
recording where it went,
what it saw, what drew its interest and curiosity,
and thereby noticing what I normally might miss, discovering what I'm usually too busy to see, too preoccupied to occupy.
 
And so I offer this suggestion to fellow
frustrated and preoccupied writers...
 
 
 
Practice pointless writing.

Get a scratch pad. The backside of used paper is good.
(avoid clean, crisp paper, which can be daunting) 
and scribble freely, scribble nonsense, 
scribble a limerick or a haiku or grocery list,
or write a haiku from your grocery list.

Write anything
to jump-start your creative engine,
to invite in your Muse,
to reconnect with your Center and Source.

Give yourself a half hour to write nothing much, 
to write something inconsequential, 
something not-uplifting, not-memorable, 
to write something not-good.

Write for the sheer fun of writing, 
prime the pump to see what comes
(Maybe nothing--Wonderful! You're still writing.)

Write without point or purpose and definitely without plot. 
Write for the simple pleasure of finding what emerges,
of discovering what's there within you seeking a voice.

Turn your stream of consciousness into a stream of playfulness,
and words into playthings.

Today use your soul as a writing prompt.
 
 
 
First posted: March 23, 2020

 


I don’t know why I write, exactly. Catharsis, the itch to make something shapely and permanent, the attempt to stare God in the eye, the attempt to connect deeply to other men and women, because I can’t help myself, because there is something elevating in art, because I feel myself at my best when I am writing well. Because because because…

                       Brian Doyle
                       Author of Mink River 
                       and Martin Marten

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Posted: March 6, 2020

 

“I realized that this entire time…my hope to tell a
long-lasting story, to create something that endured,
to be alive somehow as long as someone would read
my books, was what drove me on, story after story;
it was my lifeline, my passion, my way to understand who I was.” 

                           Susan Orlean

                           Author of
                           The Orchid Thief and The Library Book

 

 

 

 

 

First posted: February 14, 2020

 

 

Write every day with a pen that's shaped like a candy cane.
                                                                  David Sedaris

 

 

 

 

First posted: January 25, 2020

 

 

 

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.”

             Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously, Sam?

I mean, given the number who actually make money from their writing,

must be a lot of disappointed scribblers out there,

unfortunate blockheads having to settle merely for the joy

of playing with words and capturing their music on paper,

or leaving a record, however ephemeral, of an ephemeral life--

that one was once here, felt things, knew things, loved things--

reporting from the frontlines on their first-hand experiences of truth,

or wanting to make some small contribution to humanity’s forward movement,

or just tell a good story.

All those unfortunate blockheads dancing delirious with the muse

for a moment, or for an hour, or a lifetime,

alas, without any financial reward.

So sad.

 

 

 

[First posted: November 9, 2019]