Wednesday, September 9, 2015

27 More Things I've Learned From Natalie Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg is a prolific writing teacher.  For years, I have been creatively inspired by her books and her words.  In many ways, she's helped me get out of my own way so I can create more often and effectively.

Today I hope to inspire you by sharing with you 27 more exceptional pieces of 'writing' advice from Goldberg.

1.  It is beneficial to make friends with other writers because it confirms our writing life.
2.  The moment is the present:  right here, right now.
3.  Dreams can make for excellent writing material.  'If you pay attention to your dreams, they will begin to speak to you.'
4.  Put forth the possible effort to write.  In doing so, you change the very energy of the world.
5.  'Writing is the practice of asserting yourself.  Don't get bogged down by the need to explain.  Just state it as it is and be fearless.'
6.  Be careful of the use of 'very' and 'really.'  Oftentimes they are not needed.
7.  'The only failure in writing is if you stop doing it.'
8.  If you really want to be a writer, then claim it.  'There is a certain power in that.  No one can take it away.'
9.  When writing a novel, the best way of writing is to enter the life of the characters.
10.  There is no career in poetry (which does NOT mean we cannot, and should not keep writing it!  Honestly, few (if any) ever became rich off their poetry.)
11.  In sticking with writing, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable and poor, maybe for the rest of your life.  So keep your well-paying job while you test your commitment.
12.  'The good thing is that the artist can move through experience, learn from it and not be caught by it.  Writing can give us this.'
13.  Commitment is a matter of pleasure....if you enjoy writing, it won't be hard to keep at it consistently.
14.  'There are many truths, and  I should be free to say mine.'
15.  Writing teaches us to get out there in the wilderness and make friends with it.
16.  Writing practice takes us to a place where boundaries melt.
17.  'When you write, you tap the core of your wilderness, you have to be prepared to let that live inside you and not destroy it.'
18.  'Knowing about the writer helps to lead someone into their work.  It makes  a connection.'
19.   Poetry is good practice for all the other writing we do because it brings us back to where we are.  It asks us to settle inside ourselves and be awake.
20.  'Verbs are the joint that moves the sentence, like the elbow that connects the lower arm.'
21.  Characters you love will end up leaving you.
22.  'Plot is about cause and effect, about karma.  If something happens, there is a result.'
23.  It is important to give yourself permission to fail.
24.  'Stress is an ignorant state.  It believes everything is an emergency.  Nothing is that important.'
25.  Do not freeze with something you have written.  Go on and write something else.  If one thing isn't working, take a break and work on another!
26.  'If you are a writer, your business is to write.'
27.  'When you write, you are alone.  But you write for everyone.'

I hope you enjoyed this practical advice.  Print it out and place it in your portfolio, tape on the wall behind your desk...pick a favorite quote or two and use that as creative motivation!

You can can find 25 more pieces of writing advice from my previous article 25 Things I've Learned From Natalie Goldberg.