You have to write. When you don’t write you feel that tug to get back to it. But you wonder and wander . . . can I do this? Can I create something unique in this sea of books? What’s the point? Who am I to write this book? And, how am I to create something that is both unique and meaningful to others?
“We never sit anything out. We are cups, quietly and constantly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
I found a book and writing mentor that helps us get the beautiful stuff out. She also happens to be a student of Zen and a writing Goddess. Her book The Writer’s Advantage is a treasure of new wisdom and method for us writers. From Christopher Vogler’s foreword to the book (author of The Writer’s Journey): “Enter her world of wonderment, and you will be rewarded.” Where Volgler takes us on the hero’s journey of the writer, Laurie Scheer opens up the doors to the back rooms where treasures and secrets of writing have been kept in storage. (The Gods and Goddesses of the past didn’t want us to have these supernatural powers).
There is a promise made in Laurie’s book and teaching: that you will find and write from a unique perspective. You will find that unique “something” in your voice and writing. With so many books out there that may appear to be just like your book, a way to tap into the magic of writing something unique is a gift from the gods. In this case, it is a gift from a Zen Goddess.
I was resistant at first. Her subtitle and much of her teaching is about “a toolkit for mastering your genre.” Scary word, genre.
The word genre conjures up rule books and strict road maps of “how to write.” So, I was resistant to Laurie’s message (and subtitle to her book): “a toolkit for mastering your genre.” Where there is resistance; there one will find a treasure (if you don’t let the resistant win). Indeed, Laurie came to one of my writing circles and bestowed her treasures (and even secrets) to writing success.
I can only point you in the direction of this resource and hope you find your way to this treasure trove. She is all about “getting your work out into the world.” This resonates with my message of living your life from the zero point – we move through our inner demons, create, and then, live life in the open. To live life in the open means to bring our work, our stories, out to the world.
“This afternoon, burn down the house. Tomorrow, pour critical water upon the simmering coals. Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today-explode-fly-apart-disintegrate! The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, by reading your story, will catch fire, too?” ― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
To paraphrase Laurie Scheer: “Why make this book? To enlighten and candidly assist writers to understand the secrets that have been locked behind closed story development doors forever and how to navigate the road to success.” The author has provided a toolbox and a way to “take control of your writing destiny,” with enormous first-hand information and understanding.
Want to meet up with Laurie, myself and other Gods and Goddesses of writing – attend this year’s Writer’s Institute. I will be offering a couple workshops. John Dufrense, another favorite writing mentor and author of mine, will give the keynote!
For me, it was not until I began to study mindfulness and other Zen-like practices that I was able to understand my place-both in my life and in my community-in order to formulate and state my specific point-of-view regarding the subject matter I have written about.
I soon understood that there was nothing else that needed to be done, and nothing else but “just being,” was all I needed to continue to write and say what I wanted to say. Once I had that realization, the ideas formulated and the words flowed effortlessly.”