Writing Down the Bones

Writing Down the Bones

Miscellaneous Monday

I’d like to share a liberating writing exercise by Natalie Goldberg in Writing Down the Bones that aims to “burn through the first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or internal censor, to the place where you are writing what your mind actually sees and feels, not what it thinks it should see or feel.  It’s a great place to capture the oddities of your mind.  Explore the rugged edge of thought.  Like grating a carrot, give the paper the colorful coleslaw of your consciousness.”  The rules are: Keep your hand moving, don’t pause, don’t cross out anything, don’t worry about spelling or punctuation or grammar, lose control, don’t think, don’t get logical, and go for the jugular (even if you write something scary or naked, just dive right into it).

Comments
  • Mary Vanderplas February 5, 2013 at 6:23 am

    This does sound freeing. I’m thinking that it would take some practice, though, to do it right, that is, to follow the rules and not to lapse into engrained habits of analyzing, organizing, editing, etc. I like the idea, though, of expressing on paper one’s deepest perceptions and feelings, of not being restrained by the usual censors and concerns about correctness – as she puts it, strikingly, giving the paper “the colorful coleslaw of your consciousness.” I will have to try it, at the risk of discovering things about myself that I might prefer not to know.

    I wonder if this is similar to what the people in your storytelling workshops do, the chief difference being that in their case it’s wholly unintentional; they do it because the censors and the awareness of conventions are gone.

    • admin February 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      Mary, yes, it is very similar.

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Unrestrainted rambling is not condoned by God. It is nonsense. Pure imagination. Evil.

    You fancy liberating that? Don’t you see that’s why you dispute God’s words?

    Not every one … shall enter into the kingdom of heaven {Matthew 7: 21}

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    “Like carrot grating a carrot”

    I don’t think that’s possible, dear Alice, but what is absolutely eternally possible and will happen because Jesus said so is:

    Not every one … shall enter into the kingdom of heaven {Matthew 7: 21}

    • admin February 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      It was a typo 🙂 I fixed it.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2013 at 2:33 am

        Alice, is it also a typo to write “only for awhile” not every one … shall enter into the kingdom of heaven? Why don’t you fix it, too?

        Not every one … shall enter into the kingdom of heaven is spoken by Jesus as their final estate as a result of the Final Judgment. Salvation is offered only in this life and the Final Judgment proves their works of this life were insufficient verification of faith. That judgment being final leaves them forever outside the kingdom of heaven with no opportunity for change. Jesus said “I NEVER KNEW YOU” without ever suggesting that could change. His statement was prophetic since He wasn’t yet seated on the Great White Throne, and since He still is not there yet and you yet have physical life, you, Alice and all your friends, still have saving grace opportunities to believe and to become real Christians. You all cannot be so as long as you reject eternal torment. You have to change what you believe and admit not everybody is going to heaven.

  • Lanny A. Eichert February 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

    go for the jugular

    I have, Alice, by writing who and what is not Christian, a Christian, or a believer; but you will not permit it to appear.

    To believe contrary to Biblical statements makes a person NEITHER a believer nor a Christian. Since we have a custom of assuming any one who says they believe in God and Jesus is a Christian regardless of what they know and practice, we are morally under obligation to enlighten them to the fact that they are neither a believer nor a Christian. We are our brothers’ keeper and as such we neglect our duty to prevent false hope when we fail to convince them of their deficiency. They will assuredly eternally burn in hell for our neglect. The loving Christian thing to do is to disillusion them. Leave them sinners fearful of hell-fire damnation until they are ready to receive the saving Gospel.

    • admin February 8, 2013 at 12:04 am

      I think you’re missing the point of the writing exercise. It’s a personal thing. I mean, you COULD show it to others, but there’s not really an intended audience. It’s sort of like turning your mind inside out and having a look at what you didn’t even realize was in there.

      • Lanny A. Eichert February 8, 2013 at 12:42 am

        No, Alice, I know the point of the exercise is to get ideas “on paper” BEFORE they are forgotten; and later to develope them “properly.”

        Yet it is “proper” to denounce those who think they are Christian believers when they never have been. It is not cruel to their character, but a proper evaluation of their continuously stated point of view. They need to know they are going to hell for their unbelief with all their sins still attached to them.

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