“Instinctively, years ago, I knew the part that Work must play in my life. More than twelve years ago I wrote in ink on my typing board at my right hand the words: DON’T THINK!…The time will come when your characters will write your stories for you, when your emotions, free of literary cant and commercial bias, will blast the page and tell the truth.
Remember: Plot is no more than foot prints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations. Plot is observed after the fact rather than before. It cannot precede action. It is the chart that remains when an action is through. That is all Plot ever should be. It is human desire let run, running and searching a goal. It cannot b mechanical. It can only be dynamic.
So, stand aside, forget targets, let the characters, your fingers, body, blood and heart do.”
-Ray Bradbury in Zen in the Art of Writing
“I had learned long before, in my own writing life, to live by the acronym over my desk, JUST, or Just You Start Typing. I knew, too, from experience that the moments when I felt most resistant, most reluctant, were often the moments when the tide was about to come crashing back in – that there was no way, unless you are in a coma, and maybe not even then, that the mind is truly an empty room.
That our minds and souls are never really empty has been proven to me over and over when we write together, which makes me ask, What happens to all that stuff when we’re not writing it down? I suspect that it’s still there somewhere, churning and twisting, until it poisons our spirit, causing Carpal Tunnel of the Soul. And I, like many of the Zona Rosans, experience writing as a form of prayer, protecting us against that spiritual poison of not looking at and expressing ourselves.”
-Rosemary Daniell in Secrets of the Zona Rosa
‘When a writer writes from the heart of what matters to him personally, the writing is often both personal and powerful. when a writer writes to what he thinks the market needs — writes, in other words, without a personal investment – the standard of writing is often lowered along with the stakes.
Part of our duty as writers is to do the work of honestly determining what matters to us and to try to write about that. This may take a certain amount of courage. This may mean that we do not meet with immediate support from those who make decisions with an eye on the market.
– Julia Cameron in the Right to Write
“What I think we are up to, we throngs of journal-writing pilgrims, is reclamation. We are searching for ways to reclaim a sense of place, a sense of empowerment, a sense of healthy relationship between our lives and times. We look for whatever can help us make sense of the moment.”
–Christina Baldwin in Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest
I think it’s everything. I think when I write, to me, although it’s often incredibly challenging in the sense of finding the words to articulate the thoughts or finding the words to articulate the feelings, it feels like a holy practice. It feels like turning meaninglessness or chaos or sorrow into some articulated reality. I don’t know anything that feels as good and as painful at the same time.