Thursday, December 17, 2009
Life as Writing Practice
It is a book about process, about writing itself and about the self writing. Unlike many other books of advice on writing, Goldberg's classic does not focus on rules for writing correctly. If anything, she breaks more rules than she offers.
Creativity and granting oneself permission to write are two of Goldberg's concerns. The exercises she suggests promote writing - writing as writing, writing as life, writing as Zen practice.
The point of a practice writing session is to write, now, in the moment, pen to paper, without censoring. One of the first exercises that Goldberg discusses having her classes do is to write without lifting the pen from the paper for a set time - 5, 10, 20 minutes.
In other sections of the book, Goldberg reminds writers that they and their words are not one, that practicing writing (as for a sport) is good, that whatever is in the moment is a good topic to write about, and that sentences should have action and energy.
This is one of my favourite books on writing. I turn to it again and again for inspiration and good solid help. Goldberg's wonderful book was re-released in 2005 by Shambhala. It's time for a whole new generation of writers to experience the Zen of the book and to use life as writing practice.
The video interview with Goldberg highlights her ideas about writing and creativity.