Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mindful and Raw Writing


“Raw Writing” is when you just dump on the page without any editing, censoring, and without any giving in to self-consciousness. You both think and don’t think when you write this way. It truly is without any deliberate intention other than to “dump”. There is no holding you back. The point is that you have “verbal vomit”, and you just feel everything and no matter what the feelings are– fear, apprehension, disgust, etc–you still write. This is a writing that is fast and furious.

“Mindful Writing” is almost the opposite. This is a type of writing that requires you to you stop exactly where you are and just experience the very moment, both inside your body and outside your body. You observe all. You observe what you see, think, and feel. You do not question or analyze.

In my classes I teach different voices. One of those voices is a voice that comes from your “head”. This voice reports as in, just the facts m’am. Another voice, comes from the “throat” and this is a simple, clear and even voice that asserts the “truth” of who the writer is as a person, a spiritual being, what roles they have in society and simply what they “are” in this world.

Mindful Writing and Raw Writing are not voices, per say, but are more styles or approaches to writing that do what the voices do and that is require the writer to stretch his or her “muscles”. All of these different techniques will help you improve your writing and also your soul. Why? Because any of these things will force you to delve within yourself and uncover what parts of your life you want to write about and/or help you to slip inside the characters you have created in your work and allow you to bring an emotional truth to them.

I am working on in my own journaling practice to be more mindful. The raw writing comes naturally to me and it is easy because you don’t have to be slow deliberate or thoughtful you can space out and zone out. That’s no longer effective for me. It actually makes me feel more confused about what I am trying to say and also brings me out of my body, which feels kind of unsafe to me lately. I want to be in this body, with this soul, live this fantastic life I am living.

In my experimentation with Mindful and Raw writing this year I have found myself wanting to write about an area of my life I find very painful, an area I avoid writing about directly and honestly.

So….I have a journal entry that is at times Raw and Mindful about this painful area. I have reread and added and subtracted to it over the last few months, which led me to write about the “painful area” in my fiction.

I will post the entry soon and then share with you how I took it and made it into a short story.

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