Monday, November 14, 2011

Writing It Raw

You’ve probably never heard of raw writing. Neither had I until I coined the phrase. But I should have thought to head over to Google before taking credit for anything new. The results validate the wisdom of Solomon. Three millennia ago there was already “nothing new under the sun.”

I coined the phrase, seen on the site logo graphic in the right sidebar, to describe a catch-all category for any spontaneous writing, whether it's a journal entry, free-writing on scrap paper, Natalie Goldberg-style writing practice, Julia Cameron-style morning pages, pure rants or riffs,  or even quick unedited emails and notes that talk about your day or other experiences. Raw writing forms the roots of the Tree of Life Writing,  converting unprocessed memories into the basic components of more crafted writing forms of story, essay, memoir and more.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dreaming the Answers

In some dreams, life makes sense. In others it comes apart. Each type of dream has power. Our challenge is to remember those dreams and harness that power.

I often remember dreams, and while most are mundane, some are utterly fascinating. More than twenty years ago I began taking a few minutes soon after waking to write down the most dramatic ones, and until the last few years, I stored them on my computer (now they are hand-written in my paper journal).

Yesterday I found several “dream” files I hadn’t looked at in years. These were all dreams in which I had some sort of breakthrough in understanding. In an especially vivid one, I surprised myself by explaining a bizarrely compelling concept of God to people who held to a belief I had come to consider outmoded. I knew in the dream that they would not understand what I was saying, but I felt better for having a clear and coherent explanation of my position that respected the fact that they still clung to the one I had reevaluated.