I enjoy these writing prompts by Natalie Goldberg, not only because they get the mind exercised, but for the material they bring forth. Goldberg’s book is mainly directed toward memoir writers, although can be very useful for all writers. She explains that if we do short little writing exercises using her prompts, by starting our story with a memory or an object, it will take us into a deeper subconscious level where we find the topic we’re writing about taking us to something we remember from the past or leads to things we feel strongly about.
Today I am thinking about famous writers from the past. Isn’t it ironic that back in earlier decades, many writers such as Dickens self published? Many of our esteemed fellow writers we look up to struggled for recognition, and for many of them, it wasn’t until they had long passed that they achieved their fame and recognition for their brilliance.
I don’t believe any writers are left unscathed from self-doubt. We are our own first critics. Later, when the editors and publishers get their eyes on our works, it is once again criticized and picked apart. As writers, we have to grow some thick skin. Is it any wonder many writers turn to isolation and alcohol?
We are constantly striving to perfect our work. The clock ticks time away for so long before we notice how long we’ve been living in our solitudes, in the confines of our own little bubbles in our special world, sometimes forgetting the world around us exists.
I sometimes feel this way and I’m grateful in those times for my writing friends; for only they are the ones who can identify with the angst a writer experiences.
The results of our work are simple words on pages. Simple? Certainly not a simple journey for our search for those perfect words we strive so hard to fine tune so they appear eloquent and effortless. The numerous strike-outs, rewrites, days, months and years, and then revisions again, all this before our work goes forth to the editor for our work to take on a new form yet again, weigh heavy in our hopes of achieving perfection.
To simply say, I am a writer is much too understated. Our minds are fascinating, filled with stories from almost everything we see and do. Our words fill people’s minds and feed their souls. We share our knowledge and experiences whether from our own lives, or from the stories we create, invented from our own knowledge.
Writing is so much more than simple.
D.G. Kaye ©June 2015