The zen, true secret of writing: Just do it

ImageBack when I was a young aspiring writer with nothing to write about, someone who loved and believed in me gave me a book about writing called Writing Down the Bones.

I can’t remember why, exactly, but I remember that it moved me.  Gave me confidence.  Planted the seed of a commitment:  Don’t be someone who talks about writing.  Or someone who makes excuses about not writing.  Write.

Now, 25 years later and the author has a follow-up, The True Secret of Writing, based on the writing retreats she’s lead ever since.

The theme continues: Don’t talk about writing.  Don’t talk about anything.  The secret is, simply: “Shut up, and write.”

It may seem an odd mantra for a Zen-infused woman to chant, but, as I retreat into my world for the evening to heed the call, I can say it works.

Oh irony: you can hear Natalie speak about this philosophy in this brief conversation I had with her for KCRW this week in advance of her appearance tomorrow night at Insight LA.


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