Monday musing

From Martha Graham, dancer/choreographer:
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You only have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

From Sarah, a mystery writer (from the book Claiming Your Creative Self by Ellen Clegg):

Sarah counts every moment when she’s thinking about her novel as writing time, but she distinguishes between the thinking time and the actual process of stringing together words at the computer. The computer time is sacrosanct, and claiming it involves a regular act of intentional will that many…do not allow themselves….These days Sarah feels comfortable with her own idiosyncratic ways of working. It’s natural for her to be thinking of sixteen things at once, including the plot of her novel, what the kids are saying the back seat of the car, and what kind of plan she wants to put in the garden. It’s equally natural for her to walk to her studio, sit down at the computer, clear her mind of everything, and bring 100 percent concentration to her writing.

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3 Responses to Monday musing

  1. Yogamum says:

    I love those quotes, especially the second one — it gives me hope for my own busy writing mind.


  2. Pete says:

    That’s very wise advice – to keep the channel open. And the Friday ‘fess up is great motivation to get some writing done. Good luck with yours.


  3. jenclair says:

    The first quote is one that I copied and used each year when teaching. I love that Goldberg used a quote from Martha Graham (another personal hero) and the emphasis on keeping the channel open is so important in all creative endeavors. Writing Down the Bones is probably my favorite book about writing–because it was fun and fascinating even if one never wanted to write. For a teacher, it was an invaluable tool for encouraging and valuing creativity.


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