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How to Flourish in Your Writing (Plus Three Writing Prompts) by Natalie Goldberg (Wild Mind, Writing Down the Bones, Thunder and Lightning)

How to Flourish in Your Writing (Plus Three Writing Prompts) by Natalie Goldberg (Wild Mind, Writing Down the Bones, Thunder and Lightning)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
In this original, never-before-seen article, Natalie Goldberg connects writers with the tips needed to fully flourish in their craft. Natalie Goldberg is a household name for awakening and enriching the artistic lives and spirits of artists across the world. Culled from her bestselling books, such as Wild Mind and Thunder and Lightning, and decades of workshop experience, these tips are designed to help creatives find time to write, discover their personal styles and make sentences come alive.
In this original, never-before-seen article, Natalie Goldberg connects writers with the tips needed to fully flourish in their craft. Natalie Goldberg is a household name for awakening and enriching the artistic lives and spirits of artists across the world. Culled from her bestselling books, such as Wild Mind and Thunder and Lightning, and decades of workshop experience, these tips are designed to help creatives find time to write, discover their personal styles and make sentences come alive.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Jul 26, 2011
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09/29/2013

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An excellent way to feel fully free and really ourish in your writing isto develop a sweetheart inside you that encourages you and, mostimportantly, counteracts your monkey mind or inner editor or critic.My sweetheart isn’t very complicated. As I write and hear from thecritic—who says something along the lines of, “Nat, this is stupid, youare dumb, what you are writing makes no sense”—my sweetheart sayssomething along the lines of, “It’s OK, Nat, keep going. Keep going. Likea swimmer, you’ve got to do those laps.”Keep your sweetheart simple. I know how complicated a critic can be,but if the sweetheart gets complicated, too, then your two voices willstart battling and arguing, which is a waste of your time. Don’t give thecritic something to latch onto. Keep it simple; keep writing.And of course, you have to be free to write the worst shit in Americain order to write something good. It’s better to keep your hand movingfor ten minutes or a half hour than think for a half hour and have threecrossed out words. If you’ve read Wild Mind, you know what I alwayssay: keep the hand moving, don’t think, lose control, say what you want
How to Flourish in Your Writing (Plus Three Writing Prompts)
By Natalie Goldberg
Author of 
Writing Down the Bones
,
Wild Mind 
,
Thunder and Lightning 
, and
Long Quiet Highway 
 
to say not what you think you should say.And use detail. It’s not a tree but a sycamore, not car but Cadillac, not ahorse but a palomino. But listening to your sweetheart, do not chastiseyourself if you write “city” as opposed to “New Mexico.” You can alwayscome back a week later and dene your city, specifying London or Omaha.Always have great kindness for yourself. Look over your shoulder: thereis no one there. No one cares if you write. It has to come from you, fromyour effort. There is no hierarchy in writing; you elbow your way intothe lineage by your human effort. It is democratic and should be in thedeclaration of independence—the right to liberty, justice, the pursuit of happiness, and writing. Only human beings write. Clouds don’t, antsdon’t.It is your human right to know your own mind and write your own words.Let your life shine. Tell your dark and dirty, mysterious, bloody, real, andglorious story.Tell your story of love and loneliness. Tell about the moon, the night yourealized you were not going to be a doctor, the morning you had to admityou wanted to write more than anything. Tell how you are scared andwhat you love to eat, your rst kiss and your last. As Jack Kerouac said:be submissive to everything, open, listening. Accept loss forever. Write inamazement of yourself. What about rain and no-rain and the street you
 
live on? What about sickness and ice cream? And don’t forget what youlust for.Let yourself be alive. This is your one true life. I don’t know about anyother.With your sweetheart in tow, use these three ten-minute writing promptsto write right here, right now:1.
Tell me everything you remember about third grade.
If you don’tremember anything begin by telling me that.2.
Give me memories of red
, but don’t say the word red, use wordsthat engender red in the mind, for instance, rose, re, beets.3.
What do you regret?
Be specic.
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