Her voice was remarkably comforting as she commanded every writer in the auditorium to “Go.” She, of course, didn’t mean for us to leave because we were getting on her nerves, she meant WRITE. Just WRITE.
Fellow writers, readers, artists, and adoring fans were all ready to absorb her every word in hopes that it would lead them down their writing path. Her magic helping to make “it” happen. “It” being the book, the essay, the writing. My own writing experience hasn’t always been easy. Life seems to get in the way, but Natalie Goldberg has been there to help in my journey. I remember when I first discovered her powerful yet soothing voice, listening to her books on tape as I built my deck. Her voice spoke to me and told me that as writers we often look outside for help to keep us moving forward with our work, but the magic we are looking for is within. Write is Goldberg’s answer. Go
It sounds crazy, but I’m a believer. Writing my memoir Lasting Impact seemed overwhelming. Too many words. Too many ideas to get my mind around. Go Sonya. Go. I drew inspiration and strength from Ms. Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. First I wrote a paragraph, then a page, and then another. The pages grew and combined with one another, they began to form a story. Go Sonya. Go. I believed that if I continued on my path of writing, perhaps I could finish my memoir. It was slow, but like a puzzle the pieces came together. And when I thought I was finished, there was more. Revise. Edit. Go Sonya. Go. More than ten years have passed. My memoir is finished.
Recently, while working on an article I was ready to give up. Go Sonya. Go. As the words hit the page an entirely different, perhaps better idea ran through me and onto the paper. I looked at my writing the next day, it needed a lot of work, but the idea, a good idea, was there for me to work with…the bones. Just do it, write. This is why the auditorium at the Seattle Public Library was packed. Ms Goldberg has the answer.
Go. Write. There will be surprises, maybe disappointments, but you will have written, and that, in itself is a good thing. I’m getting better at the “Go,” it’s the editing that holds me back. Not the “move around the words and ideas” stage, but the “get the commas and the quotes in the right place” stage. Copy editing. That is when fear takes hold of me. It is bad enough when my inner critique berates, “Why would you write a book, an article, a blog? Who would want to read it?” But she adds with her evil smile, “What if it’s not grammatically perfect?”.
JUST GO SONYA…GO.