When I sat down to type my first article for Blogher's NaBloPoMo and National Health Post Month an event hosted by WEGO Health, I realized that signing up to write on health issues for a month was a rash, impulsive action, that would either show me that I was simply a lack luster mum blogger who wrote boring drivel or it would push me to grow as a writer who could actually write articles.
Well, I surprised myself. The odd prompts and questions posted by WEGO Health acted like golden keys, opening doors that I would never have opened on my own. Truthfully I did not even know that most of these doors existed at all. I discovered whole mine shafts of facts, opinions and antidotes within me that I connected effortlessly to examples in my own life, especially my life as a mum.
A scarce few months ago I sat frozen in front of a keyboard, typing up stilted stories about my kids. Blogging helped the prison melt because I was not trying to write to a wall; I was writing to real people who responded, offered encouragement and helpful tips to me, a computer illiterate. Now this month, NaBloPoMo pushed me to open deeper doors not only to my intellect but to my spirit and soul as well. I simply started writing, naturally, almost without effort. The words flowed as fast as I could type. I did not have to think, I just typed. As Ray Bradbury says,
Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.
I discovered that creativity is a force which seems bigger than me. It feels like I have been plugged into some universal creative energy that is intuitive and right-brained.
Suddenly an idea springs into my mind. So many thoughts start flowing through my mind it is as if I have assimilated emotions, reflections, connected quotes and philosophy and integrated it all with my faith to form an article. My right brain takes over. The entire process is largely subconscious. I unwittingly combine a spirit of creativity with a gift to craft words together. Writers in past centuries called this the Muse. Left logical brain editing follows afterwards. However, if I attempt to write the first draft with my logical left brain, the end product is stilted, stunted, boring and painful to read.
Hoping that I am not alone in this approach to writing, I have unearthed some powerful and some outrageously funny quotes on the subject of writing:
"I do not plan my fiction any more than I normally plan woodland walks; I follow the path that seems most promising at any given point, not some itinerary decided before entry.” ~John Fowles
“There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.”
~W. Somerset Maugham
"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~Sharon O’Brien”
"Writing is the overflow of emotion into action.”? ~Brian Raif
So it seems that I am in good company. I must admit though, I discovered that many other authors use an outline, plan and work hard at the chore of writing, yet still managing to create magic.