Handmade Fences and Beautiful Gates

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I have begun reading one of the secondhand books that arrived from BetterWorld Books the other day. It is called The Journey From the Center to the Page by Jeff Davis. It is all about combining yoga practice and writing practice and so far it is proving a timely, lovely and thought-provoking read.

It always amuses and ponders me the amount of rituals creative people surround themselves with to define their practice and give them the courage to walk into the dark. Some of those things are cliched, like a bottle of bourbon, for example. On Sunday, before my writing time I stood in mountain pose, with my hands folded at my chest, felt my feet grounded into the floor and asked myself a simple question: "Why am I writing?" I waited for the answer to bubble up, and it did eventually. At least that day it was simply "To express myself." Last night it was "Because it joys me" and I felt the bubbles of yellow flowing up from my solar plexus at that sort of champagne definition.

Asking this question of myself seems to somehow bring me down into my body so I can write from that space instead of being all stuck up in my disembodied head with the 14 million mind monkeys. It feels most delicious.

The second part of my beginning ritual, after asking this first question, is to ask myself what am I writing for in this particular instance? Both times it has been to further my short story and in fact last night I finished it. I don't know how good it is - some parts are good, and now comes the revision, but I've finished it. I've actually finished a short story. I've been so blocked for so long, and now writing just feels hard with a natural tendency to want to procrastinate about it - but it feels able to be done. Somehow, it doesn't feel anymore like the invisible gates or doors that were keeping me out are ... well, keeping me out any more, or maybe even there any more.

I have performed that little ritual above twice now at the beginning of each writing time. In the book I mentioned above, the writer talks about how we can build "handmade fences with beautiful gates" for our thoughts. Is that just not a delightful sort of a way to put it? The simple ritual of lighting a candle at the beginning of my writing time and blowing it out at the end helped to build a fence around that time and make it something special.

Hooray for me, I've finished my story :) *back pat*


  1. hooray for you :)

    sounds like a lovely grounding practice to enhance the output

  2. Whoo-hoo! She finished! (Does a little happy dance!)


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