Tonight I interviewed one of my favorite writers- Dan Millman and his daughter Sierra Prasada who co-authored the book The Creative Compass: Writing Your Way From Inspiration To Publication on my radio show called It’s All About Relationships on Vividlife Radio. I felt a bit self serving since I had the chance to pick their brains and offered my listeners a chance to eavesdrop on our conversation. Dan is best known for his classic Way of The Peaceful Warrior which is a pivotal read from my college years.
As they were sharing their insights, the words “writing is risking” came to me. Although I have been immersed in creative writing since my pre-teens, it is only in the past few years that my writing has revealed me to myself and my readers. Putting ourselves out there means being verbally naked, running the risk of disapproval. For years, I played it safe and only wrote what I thought people would smile at when they read, rather than invite them to have a full range of emotions as I had while writing it. I look back at journal entries from waaaaayyyy back in my 20′s and wonder how I could possibly have believed some of the things I wrote and at times shake my head and question….”you still believe that?”
For many writers, a blank page can be overwhelmingly frightening and for me it is a lovely challenge, much like ‘tabula rasa’- blank slate. It beckons me to pour my thoughts onto it, which absorbs them like a sponge.
We are all story tellers with tales to offer about our own unique world view and invite readers to see the sights through our eyes. Willingness to live our stories out loud is a mark of a courageous writer. No longer can I hide behind what I call ‘funny looking baby syndrome’ as a way of avoiding getting my work out there in the world. Imagine laying your newborn in a carriage to take him or her out for a stroll. You (like most parents) believe that this is the most beautiful infant ever to incarnate on this planet. The first person pulls back the blanket and thinks “What a funny looking baby,” and you are crushed. I dare to bare emotionally and verbally, letting the ‘baby’ play wildly in the world.
http://youtu.be/TtGY4G7II6s Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield