Writing a memoir has never been something that has interested me, but this changed the moment I picked up this book by Natalie Goldberg. In Old Friend from Far Away, Goldberg breaks down the process into engaging little bites, invitations to write, so in the end you've created an hors d'oeuvre table of stories about you and your life. It's not where did you go to school...who were your grandparents...what big splashes did you make in your career type stuff. Many of the writing prompts are things I've never considered to be a part of my story, but when I write about them I find that who I am and the story of my life come through even when I'm writing about my thoughts and experiences with Jell-O or rain or my uncle.
There's something about Goldberg's writing that tempts me to enter a world that consists of only writing. As if my days are lived for the sole purpose of being channeled with richness and creative flow through my right hand and onto the page. I gobbled down her books Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind and they changed me for the better. She brings to her reader a world that is humming with life, bursting essence, and palpable color and all the while as calm and meditative as a deep breath in the desert of her southwest home. She makes me look at the life of a writer as a gifted one.
I began writing, but I didn't want to do it on paper. I tend to think light years faster than I am able to write. Though I enjoy writing on paper, using a keyboard ends up being much more rewarding. For instance, mistakes on paper sit there and drag me back as reminders of the writing process itself, whereas the delete button sends me forward into better and refinement almost immediately. So, I created another blog for my memoir pieces. It's called But I'm Not Groovy and I'm linking it today to this blog. It's got me excited to print the results someday and have it for my kids, hopefully adding to it further after I've finished her exercises. I love the process taught by Goldberg because it lends itself to freedom and experimentation with focus. It fits my personality to be humorous in one essay, nostalgic and sentimental in another, fuming and indignant maybe...preachy...all of my inclinations, quirks and peculiarities can be involved.
Please go over and visit. I hope it inspires you to read her book and try it yourself.
Old Friend from Far Away
But I'm Not Groovy
Crunchy Chickpea Salad
3 days ago