Thursday, April 19, 2012

Reading Natalie Goldberg

I have been reading Natalie Goldberg's books on how to become a writer. One of the things that amazes me is -- she describes how her writing students are driven to tell their personal stories, record their lives. I have always wanted to describe what doesn't exist. I can't imagine anything more boring than writing down my life. I mean, I'm living it. That's as much commitment as I want to make. But the possible or impossible -- those are enticing. Those open the mind.

I've decided what I like about Natalie Goldberg is her enthusiasm for writing. For her it's life saving, transforming, the best thing ever, ice cream. I spent too much time around avant garde artists as a kid, and I picked up their angst. For them, art was not a way to make their lives better; their lives were a way to make their art better. And the process was not always pleasant for them or the people around them. But boy were they interesting; and their art was often breathtaking in its beauty and gutsiness.

I'd like to have Goldberg's enthusiasm, her joy in writing, and her relentless drive


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