Tag Archives: inspiration

Ready, Steady, Write # 8

Photograph Kathy Ishizuka


It’s that time again
to Ready, Steady, Write!
Ponder this image
Let it speak to you
Write down the words that float into your mind
Post your responses in the comments
Notice what distracts you from the task
and return


I’m waiting on the platform to gather your stories…

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Ready, Steady, Write # 7

Photograph by Kristin Fast 2012
LET YOUR WORDS LEAP
FROM HERE
TELL THIS STORY
TEN MINUTES
TEN LINES
PERMISSION TO FLY

share in the comments!
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Ready, Steady, Write # 6

Photograph by Leo Gundle 2012

 

Write your way IN from WAY OUT
Use this image as a starting point
Ten minutes or Ten lines
Return to THIS destination and
LET YOUR WORDS GO

Here

 

This is the 6th Ready, Steady, Write! 
If you have only just arrived, there is always an opportunity to go back and write a story, personal account or poem in response to the 5 previous ones as well. 

Choose to write 10 lines or 10 minutes weekly on the image prompts, and in no time at all you will have a creative collection of words. 
This is not about being a ‘writer’, this is about being YOU and writing… there is a difference here. I am not waiting for ‘polished’ pieces… embrace spontaneity! 

Please be brave & share your creations in the comments section. Releasing your words, liberates something in you and inspires others in the Write To Be You community to do the same… try it!
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Golden Goldberg

Natalie Goldberg, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is an extraordinary woman who paints, writes and guides others in their writing practice.  When I was twenty, I discovered her book “Writing Down the Bones” and devoured it.  The experience was delectable.  Her pages were full of wisdom, ideas and permission. While enticing me to write down the bones, she crawled under my skin.  Natalie has written many wonderful books since then, but it was that book that remained with me for years, until I was lucky enough to participate in one of her workshops in Taos, New Mexico in 2010.

The workshop consisted of yoga sessions, writing sessions and enforced silences.  I say ‘enforced’ because while I crave it often, silence does not always come easily to me.  I fill up my space with sound. I love my music. I talk to Lilly (my dog). I bore my husband with daily minutia. I like to chit chat on the phone. I ask my kids too many questions when I pick them up from school. I even talk to myself. All that commotion before anyone else has managed to join the bonanza.

We’ve all heard the saying ‘Silence is Golden’, meaning precious. Sought after. Seductive. Valuable. I’m not sure I fully understood quite how golden silence can be until Natalie Goldberg forced it upon me. Gently. With understanding. She encouraged us to ‘sit’ in silence for luxurious lengths of time.  She instructed us to eat in silence, even if we were feasting next to our best friend (which I was). Instead of filling up the air with words, my tastes buds had a conversation with my food. It was a delightful exchange. She suggested that we walk slowly around the world in silence, and pay close attention to  everything we encountered along the way. And I did.

But silence, like most things shiny, has a darker side. It can be lonely. Frightening. Silence can leave you feeling disconnected. Caught on a broken treadmill endlessly running over unproductive thoughts.  That sort of silence is ‘noisy’.  Tarnished.  The golden glow long since forgotten.

Our task, as writers, as human beings, as learners, is to pay attention to both states. Pay attention to when life gets too fast, too loud. Pay attention to the times we could benefit from pressing mute in order to listen to our breath and not our voices.  Equally, pay attention to when we become locked. Stifled. In need of our volume being turned up.  In need of being heard. Too many of us operate on extremes, missing opportunities to create a more harmonious balance.

I have plenty of lasting memories from that week in Taos, but there is one that stands out from the rest. I was walking back to my bedroom on the first deliciously dark night. Somewhere over Taos mountain there was an electrical storm.  The entire landscape was alive with light — frenetic, neon bolts cracking into the atmosphere, scratching silver zig zags through the blackness. Natalie was walking next to me. Silent. I assumed she would remain wrapped in the meditative moment.  It seemed possible to me that she was the kind of women who could slow walk calmly through Mardi Gras. But then she surprised me, like the best writers do.  She glanced up and caught sight of the spectacular sideshow, and in her broad New York accent, she sliced through the silence with a gloriously, life affirming query.

“What the FUCK is that?” 

I remember smiling. It was that line that leaps out at you from the page of a book when you’re quietly reading at midnight.  It catapults off the page and cartwheels around your brain, reminding you why you love to read. Reminding you why the author is so brilliant.

Golden Goldberg.

And now to you! What is your relationship to silence? Do you want more of it or less? Do you need silence to work or are you more productive with noise around you? Do you have ‘loud’ memories from your childhood or ‘quiet’ ones? Or both?
I won’t talk for a little while… I’ll sit and wait for your words to arrive. I’m ready to listen…

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Ready, Steady, Write # 4

Photograph by Leo Gundle 2012

Tell us a story…
As few or as many lines as you choose
You have permission to go anywhere with this
Use the image as a launch pad
Share your findings
10, 9, 8, 7, 6 (you know the rest)
BLAST OFF!
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A Splash of Our Own

Photograph by India Thain, 2011
The first Write To Be You Workshop of 2012 has begun.
I would like to thank those who showed up and jumped. With a splash. Breaking through the surface. Making an impact. Moving the water with their presence. A declaration. I am here. I have arrived. Somewhere I need to be. I’ve entered.
IN

Taking that first step towards the unknown can be hell of hard. Our bodies stiffen. Stress chemicals begin crazy dance spirals in our brains. Our pulse accelerates. We feel the resistance like a cold jagged slab. It hurts to be so tender. So full of jangled nerves. But our tendency to tenderness is precious. Treasure it. Anxiety and exhilaration are not so distant cousins.They operate on the same spectrum and given the chance, they can learn to negotiate; one unexpectedly, graciously, opening the door for the other, creating an equilibrium rather than a dictatorship. Both are reminders that we are alive, full of anticipation, wanting and waiting to make a splash of our own.

Ready to write?
Ready to write!

Option one: Tell us a story about this image.
Option two: Describe an anxiety or apprehension that you find yourself scraping against.
Option three: Share a time when you broke through anxiety and met exhilaration on the other side.

Splash into the comments – your boldness will encourage others to jump in after you…

Feeling lighter hearted? Visit  Goldilocks and the Three Apples and update your own fairytale. Keep the words coming!

 

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Ready, Steady, Write # 3

We hold worlds of words in our hands, hearts and heads.
Tell me a story about this image.
Allow it to spark, not dictate.
If you don’t feel like writing, WRITE ANYWAY.
If you can’t give it ten minutes, give it ten lines.
Make the time for ten lines.
I invite at least TEN people to share their TEN lines.
It’s a gift to yourself, me, and all reading, to see how each of us crafts something Unique
From the same raw material.
Take a few deep breaths.
On your marks, get set…
GO!
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Ready, Steady, Write # 2

Found objects are wonderful springboards for inspiration.  I stumbled across this while browsing.  Pick up your pen.

Open your notebook.  Commit to writing at least one page.  Tell this story.

Monday is full of possibility…

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Ready, Steady, Write # 1

Tell the story.  Write for at least ten minutes without editing.  Go…

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