Mindless Writing 101 : Page 2 of 2
Mindless Writing 101: Permission to Play, Have Fun and Be an Artist
Old myth: Writing is cerebral.
New reality: The best writing comes from the body and senses and our childlike ability to play.
In the writing workshop I developed, I use practical techniques that disengage the mind, and instead, engage the entire body and senses where our words live. We also practice playing, which is an important part of all creativity, including writing. I recently trialed the workshop with a group that included a couple of writers whose writing I'm familiar with. And some of the words that came out during the workshop were the best I'd ever seen from them. Fresh and different and passionate. By disengaging the mind, you let the writing take you to places you never even thought of going. The writing writes you.
Old myth: The writer often faces a blank page, which causes writer's block.
New reality: There is no blank page.
I'm not sure if this is an American invention or not but when I visited Cuba this year, I spoke with various writers who insisted there is no such thing as a blank page. "The page is never blank. Even if it appears so. The writer is always full of experiences and ideas. They are already on the page of a different form in our minds," one writer told me. Applying organic methods throughout the writing process can create an easy flow from our minds right onto the page.
Old myth: Writers are introverts, and the art of writing is a solitary act.
New reality: Writers need a creative community they can be part of, draw support from and get creatively inspired.
The expectation that writers need to be alone with their thoughts makes the process of writing more difficult. Staying inside of one's head for too long can be unhealthy, cause depression and put a halt to creativity for lots of writers. While there are many art centers where artists can rent studio spaces, there are very few places like this for writers. Yet, writers too need collaborative centers where they can share office space, have a community of support and get out of their heads. Because the creative process is never a solitary act, and ideas only get better around other creatives. [I'm in the process of developing a creativity incubator for artists and writers. Anyone interested in joining me in this project?]
Writing has been separated from other art forms for far too long by the myths that claim it to be a solitary, cerebral and painful experience. Everyday, I work towards creating this new reality for myself and other writers: a joyful, collaborative world that lets us tap into our deepest writing in the gentlest of ways. To create this new world, I believe that the organic, mindless part of the writing process needs more attention. It needs to be part of every writing program. So we can let our minds go on vacation and soak in the tub as long as they want. While we have some real fun letting our best words flow onto the page. •
© 2008 Rita Farin. All rights reserved.
Rita has spent the last 20 years studying the creative process. She is a full-time writer, artist and creativity coach focused on helping others unleash their imaginations to bring about new realities. More »