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Wednesday
Jul112012

On being in flow

I have successfully banished my writer's block, and I am feeling positively incendiary. I feel like I have been circling around a method of writing practice, slowly zeroing in on the sweet spot. This process is inspired at least in part by the delightfully neurotic and generous frankness of Anne Lamott's 'Bird by Bird'; and to a lesser extent by Natalie Goldberg in 'Writing Down the Bones', where she takes a slightly more Zen approach, with less swearing.
The emphasis in Goldberg is on 'first thoughts', and in writing in an unfettered manner, with your whole body attuned to the pen and the paper. I can relate to this mostly through suffering (often enough) from the opposite condition - writing in a constrained and straight-jacketed way, using my conscious mind far too much, which means working against the subconscious or unconscious. Thinking rather than doing.
While Goldberg speaks of the hand and the pen, I have expanded her observations to include the hand and the keyboard. I can touch type at about 80-90 words per minute, and to do so feels like an unconscious and fluid process, so I mix up hand writing (longhand) with typing and the occasional speaking into a recording device. At the moment I am buzzing, and I feel like doing all three at once.
You may have noticed that I have also been working on the peripheral parts of this website, streamlining the story I tell about myself to focus more intently on the writing. The writing's the thing: everything else is secondary. All in all, despite being buried here in mid-winter in Melbourne, it feels like a time of renewal and change: a Springtime of the soul. Let's see if I can sustain this fertile and provocative frame of mind.

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