WRITING WITH YOUR WHOLE BODY

OR: HOW TO CREATE SOMETHING POWERFUL AND TRUE

· the writing life,tips and exercises

I've been writing seriously since 2011. That's a long time. But sometimes I still like to read books about writing. It helps to remind me why I started in the first place.

I just finished Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg. It has some gems in it. Like this one: “Real writing comes from the whole body.”

I think this is true.

I can usually tell if I’m writing something good—by which I mean, something authentic—if I feel some sort of physical reaction to it.

Sometimes I’ll get dizzy, and other times my heart will ache, or I’ll feel slightly nauseous or nervous, like I’ve had too much coffee.

I don’t mean I always feel good. What I mean is the writing is impacting me in some way—some physical way. I feel it in my bones, or in my throat.

When writing impacts us, it has more of a chance of impacting others.

It’s good to include your whole body in the equation, because we can get stuck in our heads. (Writers, especially, tend to be very head-comfortable.)

Sometimes I like to ask myself: what would my toes say? What about my neck, my knees? What would my stomach write about?

You can apply this to any discipline. What would my mouth paint? What would my lungs sing about?

Writing—creating—from your body is a good way to access something in you that is real, powerful, and true.

Try it.