Writing asks us to cultivate wonder.
That state of mind that allows us to approach the unknown with curiosity and awe.
In wonder, we become open, present, more susceptible to being astonished.
I’ve been teaching about this all month, and today I want to affirm:
Writers need to nourish our own curiosity. We can learn how to allow rather than avoid the unusual and the unfamiliar. We can get more comfortable sitting in the unknown.
We can expect our mind to resist this.
Shimmering in wonder, you ultimately disappear. You stop looking for an answer. You don’t even try to make sense.
Your ego won’t like this.
Trust. When you drop into your body and experience what is, you will catch the irrational whispers of powerful art.
Through practicing what I call Deep Noticing, you can resource yourself to hang out in the mystery a little longer.
That source, where something is born from nothing.
We cross a threshold, and we’re in that realm.
It’s the same source that makes sweet, crunchy fruit grow out of the petals of an apple blossom.
Later, it gives somebody the idea to bake that juicy goodness into a pie.
That’s the place stories come from.
What is that?!
I call it mystery. It’s completely unknowable.
One thing I feel I know for sure (though I don’t pretend to understand it) is that we are all interconnected with this source, and through it, to each other.
Some of us have words for it. Some of us don’t.
Regardless, every writer I’ve spoken to seems to have their own experience of it.
Let’s own it.
It can be hard to say out loud that writing is a vocation. A spiritual practice, in a way that maybe not everyone will recognize.
Still, let’s stop pretending otherwise. At least in this school!
Yes, be a craft person. Dedicate yourself to mastery. Build up your study so your skills are strong enough to hold you while you cultivate your connection to wonder.
Craft only gets us so far.
The rest isn’t up to us.
If we can embrace that, then maybe we don’t have to fight so hard with all the judgements and expectations that come when we open our notebook.
We’re not supposed to know how to create something out of nothing.
All we can do is wonder.
PS. You’re not the only one who sees the strange shimmer in the room. Join us anytime in Centered for more nerdy discussions on all things craft, mysteries, and writing we love.
Photo credit: Yoksel Zok