Tuesday, 13 September 2011
A Gift for Writing
There’s a wonderful book called 29 Gifts. Have you come across it? It’s written by a young American woman called Cami Walker who was diagnosed with MS a month after her wedding. In pain and despair, and barely able to leave her flat, she was given the following ‘recipe’ by an African medicine woman: Give 29 gifts in 29 days. And if you miss a day, go back to the beginning. The gifts included a tissue for a friend in tears; giving away a bouquet of flowers she’d bought for herself, stem by stem, to strangers; giving a shell she’d found on the beach to a little girl. The point of all this was that in giving a gift each day, her energy turned from focusing on pain and difficulty towards the power to make a difference.
What is this to do with writing, I hear you ask?
Writing works energetically from the inside out. It’s expressive, outpouring, giving. Maybe it’s time to give your inner writer a gift. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, suggests Artist’s Dates each week to fill the well of inspiration. But the smallest gift will be appreciated by our hard-working inner writer. Here are some suggestions:
• The gift of half an hour a day to write in
• A comfortable, back-supporting chair
• Some healthy writerly snacks
• Membership of a writing group or online community
• Time each day to walk and imagine and ponder
• A really good book to read.
• The choice to write differently – a haiku or a short story or a novel
• A trip to the bookshop, or the zoo, or the seaside.
What gift would your writer most appreciate this week?