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Writing Down the Bones: A Reflection

Are you writing? Tomorrow at the Write Now! Mastermind Class, author Kelly L. Stone will join us to talk about how to integrate writing into our daily lives. She’s the author of several books for writers including, LIVING WRITE: The Secret to Bringing Your Craft Into Your Daily Life. If you’re looking for tips to make your writing more productive this year, join us at the Write Now! Mastermind class on Wednesday, August 24 at 12:00 PM CDT. The class us free, but you need to sign up at the Mastermind page.

Today’s reflection on Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within comes from writer Stephanie Kilen, pictured below. Read it and write!

Writing Down the Bones: A Reflection.

The piece that helps me face the page every day: “You are free to write the worst junk in America.” —Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones. Her advice is a close cousin to the great chapter in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, “Shi**y First Drafts.”

Once I learned to take that concept to heart—to just write and not judge myself or think of others judging my work while I was doing it—I was able to write so much more and actually, better! (Not to mention enjoying the process so much more too.) Every other craft begins with rough shape, writing needs to as well.

Your turn. What writing advice gets you to face the page each day? Leave your comment below!

About the guest blogger: Stephanie Kilen has been lucky to hone her craft in newspaper, magazine, PR, script, educational materials, ads and all the other little random stuff out there that needs someone to put some words in order. She is currently in love with and working on writing a novel.



4 Responses

  1. What brings me to the page every day? I honestly have to tell myself “there is nothing better than this if you don’t make something better than this.” I am currently a full time receptionist, and needless to say, putting an artistic person in a cubical all day leads to ample amounts of boredom. For awhile, I was convinced that this was all I had to cling to, that this was my life. But I was put on probation – a blessing in disguise – for not (get this) editing/proofreading up to par with their standards. So I finally decided that it was now or never – and I think the “or never” part scared me. What if I was stuck here for the rest of my life? And that’s what motivates me, because I know some day I’ll be able to break away from all of this and indulge myself creatively – to live the life I want.

    I think not judging myself is something I had to get over, and I’m still working on second guessing my words, though I feel I’ve been getting much better at it as of late.

  2. writenowcoach

    I love what you said: There is nothing better than if you don’t make something better than this! Well put. We have to take control of what we are in control of. Thank you.

  3. I think what brings me to the page is the same kind of thing you talked about.

    It’s okay to write badly. The first draft is going to be awful no matter what, so get it down on paper. That’s what revision is for!

    And I think that’s kind of what brings me to the pages I’m REVISING each day. I’m making that rough draft better, sorting through the junk, and finding my story in a way I never did the first time around.

    Great post. ^^

  4. Haha! “Shi**y First Drafts” is exactly what I remind myself of when I start getting to critical or taking too much time trying to get things down. After all, the only person who is going to see is me…and possibly my best friend when I bounce ideas off of her. I just remind myself, I am free to get all the crappy, cliche, stilted stuff out now and then it can be refined into breathtaking prose later.

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