Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Inspiration for Writers from Lesléa Newman

The cover of "Write from the Heart: Inspiration and Exercises for Women Who Want to Write" by Lesléa Newman

I'm reading Lesléa's "Write from the Heart: Inspiration and Exercises for Women Who Want to Write," and found these two bits from the introduction pretty inspirational:

To answer the question, "What in the world does she have to write about?" Lesléa answers: 

"Nothing much. Absolutely everything. The stuff of my life, which is ordinary yet extraordinary. I have met many women who think they can't be writers because their lives aren't interesting enough to write about. This is simply untrue. Everyone's life is mysterious, beautiful, stunning magic. It doesn't matter if you've lived in the same town your whole life or traveled around the world seven times. What matters is your ability to open up to the breathtaking and spectacular adventure that happens to be your life. You job is to experience it, see it, feel it, live it, and write it down." (pg.2)

 and on the difference between writing and rewriting:

"When I write the first draft of anything (including this very [excerpt from my] book you're reading), I move my pen across the page and I do not stop until the piece I am writing naturally comes to a close, or until a predetermined amount of time has passed. All I am doing at this point is getting my material out to see what it is I have to say. I don't go back over it and try to improve it at this point. I don't worry about the dialogue being authentic, the characters being convincing, all the verb tenses being correct. The process of going back over your work and making it the best it can be is not writing. It is rewriting. You cannot write and rewrite simultaneously. Rewriting involves going back over what you have just written with a friendly but critical eye. You cannot go forward and backward at the same time." (pg. 6)

While the book's title promises inspiration and exercises for women who want to write, there's plenty of wisdom (and inspiration and exercises) for anyone of any gender who wants to take the journey of being a writer. It's well-worth checking out.

Illustrate, Translate, and Write On,

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