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Back to Basics

It was 1992.  I was back in school getting a post-grad teaching certification and taking my first steps from being a storyteller and occasional poet to being a writer.  I started taking some workshops.  And I bought some books.  And one of those books is still with me.  It's right here next to me as I type because I think it's time for a re-read.

Basics 1
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Re-reading this (and probably Wild Mind after) seems like the perfect accompaniment to this round of ROW80.  Taking my goals back to the basics, simplifying, just focusing on the process of writing practice is what these books are all about. These books are where I first learned this stuff!  It feels really good to be returning to this starting point.

I've been doing some very short journaling, mostly on the back of my collage cards, and it feels good to be connecting to my world with my words again.  I know I'm on the right track for me, and I think that's a pretty good check-in for right now.


This week, Jamie asks, "What do you wish to believe in?"  Here's a little bit of freewriting to answer that:

Fairy 4

I wish to believe in magic.  In fairies and miracles and bright, shining amazement floating in glittery bubbles of fairy dust.  I wish to believe that there are secrets to the Universe, things I can catch glimpses of if I open myself up and look in the right directions.  I wish to believe that I have magic inside me that I can bring out and share with the world if I keep trying.  I wish to believe that there are ghosts and aliens and Bigfoot and wild, unknown things out there and that maybe I can see some of it while I'm here.  I'm like Fox Mulder on the X-Files--I want to believe.


12 thoughts on “Back to Basics

    1. Kim

      Thank you, Ann! I think we can get writing that is full of life when we remember to just let the words spill out. For some reason, though, that's a lesson that has to be learned more than once.

  1. Tia Bach

    I love the idea of back to basics, and wish you much success this round. I want to believe in magic, too. Let's believe together. 😉

    1. Kim

      Lauralynn, I know! In my writing I have one story going about fairies, another one about The Lady of the Lake in modern times, and a short story series about monster hunters so I have werewolves and Bigfoot and all sorts of cool stuff. Writing is so fantastic! (Um, literally.) And Fox Mulder was the best (and might still be with the talk of a third movie). I still have a crush on him.

  2. Joe

    The awesome part of reading a book you've been away from for so long: it's a different book now. Because you're a different you.

    I bet you find all manner of things that speak to you in this reading that didn't before. And the stuff that still resonates, you'll see in a different light. Very cool, this.

    As to magic, well, someone once said we live in a world of infinite wonder. To that I'd add, we just need the eyes to see it.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. Kim

      Joe, I am absolutely finding this to be true. Some parts of the book still have that old familiarity, but there are so many things I forgot, and I am enjoying rediscovering them so much. And I am working on having those eyes to see. 🙂

  3. Lynn Fisher

    Kim, that is my favorite book as well! Natalie Goldberg has recently come out with a new writing book called, The True Secret of Writing.
    Although nothing is quite as awesome as "bones", it is a great reminder of techniques and that refresher kick in the pants we often need!

  4. Kim

    Lynn, I saw her new book. That's part of what prompted me to do a re-read of WDtB. I'd like to read the new book, too, but nothing is as great as the original I think.

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