My “Real” Writing (26)

There is a sweetness in touching my “real” writing. I wonder if it is that that truly draws me to it—that deep, quiet sweetness rather than the eager, scary thrill of reading it out loud or sending it out into the world. Maybe it is different for all writers, but there is a place we all go to, at least now and then, where we do our best work. Natalie Goldberg calls it “dropping down to first thoughts,” Clive Matson, “letting the crazy child write.” I’ve always thought of it as “entering in.” When writers describe it, there is an element of the physical, of being present, anchored in our bodies, grounded. It depends, too, on what I am writing. I may be deep in it, but if it’s something hard, the sweetness isn’t apparent. Still, I think the coming out of it may be the same, even when the writing is difficult, like pushing through anger, through pain, through loss, when it feels like pulling teeth, or breaking them with my bare hands. Even then, in the surfacing there is a sweetness, a tender regard for myself, and a sense of having done good work. Even with tears still wet on my face, when I emerge from my true writing I am never mean to myself. I am only kind.

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