In this week’s chapters of Adorning the Dark, we’ve been reading and talking about what keeps us from writing. Andrew’s shared experiences of feeling tentative, like he has nothing to offer, like his efforts to create are gibberish. In the forum we’ve talked about feeling the same way, and about being nervous to share our work. And a few of us have been encouraged to think that we all have a quota of bad songs, and that there’s value in writing those bad songs, too.
Today we’re going to practice this together.
(Today also happens to be the first day of NaNoWriMo. I didn’t plan that when making the schedule, but that program is a great way to get to work on your quota of bad writing, because there isn’t time to second-guess or self-edit. 😉 You can check it out here.)
At the end of chapter 1, Andrew told us a story about Bach, about the way he would always start writing with a prayer: Jesu Juva, “Jesus, help!”
So, step one: Pick one of these prompts. (If you already have something in mind to write, skip the prompts and just write that.)
- Write down (or ask someone else to write for you) 3-5 unrelated words.
- Think about a smell. Any smell.
- When you think of the word “home,” what comes to mind?
- Google “word of the day.” (Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com both do this.) See what today’s word is and start there. (If you don’t like today’s word, you can use another dictionary’s instead, or pick a word from a different day.)
- What are you afraid of?
Step two: Take a minute. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out once or twice. Say that prayer: Jesu Juva. Jesus, help.
Then I took a deep breath, opened the guitar case, and leapt.
Step three: Start writing (or drawing, or painting). Believe that your Maker is proud of you.
Next week: Chapters 4-5.