A Tip off the Natalie Goldberg Iceberg

06 Nov

It was a most tragic thing that I should second guess my life’s purpose the day before I left.  I therefore left behind the physical manifestations of my actual life’s purpose and took with me some other things that I sort of like, but aren’t ever worth taking when traveling around one’s country.

The day before yesterday I shipped those things back home; but I figured it was pointless to ask my family to ship to me, c/o my good friend Rachel, my books which I was originally going to take with me: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and most importantly, Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg.

These books were  meant to inspire my fiction and freewriting which I was planning on accomplishing during the month of November, 20 days of which I will be spending in the land known as “not in the comforts of my home where all of my writing resources always are no matter what.”  But, in case you missed the part where I thought for a bit that I would do something a little less pleasant but a little more useful than NaNoWriMo… I don’t have them with me, because it seemed silly.

And we all know the saddest part is that I am actually traveling with absolutely NO Natalie Goldberg along to inspire me.  I have to live off of my own whims.  I don’t even know how I’ve made it this far, or how I have 8,884 words in my NaNoWriMo novel right now.  There must be some miracle at work here.  And I can’t even find anything of hers online.  She needs a blog.  Just for me, a desperate woman stranded with nothing but a laptop and her own notebook full of mediocre writings.

For those of you who don’t know, Natalie Goldberg is basically the coolest person alive.  She writes, and then she writes about writing.  She’s a Zen Buddhist whose main focus is freewriting.  Freewriting, which Google Chrome says is not a real word, is when you just start writing and you write about whatever comes out.  Some friends thank me for slightly more illustratively renaming this process “word vomit.”  I should probably patent that term, but since I am poor, I’ll just hope that some kind people give me credit if they use the term themselves, and I’ll leave everyone to go about their normal lives and not worry about me showing up at their back screen doors with a pick axe and a rather resentful looking snarl across my lips, distant eyes spelling out an urge to mutilate anyone who has ever done me wrong.  Don’t worry.  Those same friends who praise my “word vomit” creation?  Yeah, those friends.  They will also inform you that I am much too nice to do anything even remotely close to even looking menacing and murderous.  So forget about it…. sigh…

In my desperation, I was able to find some of her quotes online… one of which just put me to shame: “Life is not orderly. No matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die, lose a leg, fall in love, drop a jar of applesauce.”  Okay, fine, Natalie Goldberg.  I get it.  Life can’t be perfect and I should keep writing anyway, whether you are here to help me or not!

But NOW I am all inspired by all these Natalie Goldberg quotes about writing.

“When you are present, the world is truly alive.”

“Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.”

“Talk when you talk, walk when you walk, and die when you die.”

“First thoughts have tremendous energy. The internal censor usually squelches them, so we live in the realm of second and third thoughts, thoughts on thought, twice and three times removed from the direct connection of the first fresh flash.”

“There is no security, no assurance that because we wrote something good two months ago, we will do it again. Actually, every time we begin, we wonder how we ever did it before.”

Quite so, Natalie Goldberg… quite so.  Please, keep being amazing – and I hope to meet you one day very soon!

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Posted by on November 6, 2010 in Books and Literature, Inspiration, Writing


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