”It’s important to read aloud what you write. In writing groups, I ask
people to write and then immediately afterward, ask them to read.
It is apart of the writing process, like bending down to touch your toes
and then standing up again. Write. read, write, read.
If you don’t read aloud, the writing tends to fester like an infected
wound in your notebook.”
Natalie Goldberg – Wild Mind
On October 25, 2001, the late Ed Wildman read the whole chapter of Reading Aloud at the first workshop I attended. I knew without a doubt that I’d have to read my raw writing. I’d been writing for five years and I’d only shared my writing a couple of times to my dream group, (that’s where I met Gloria).
Ed utilized writing practice that he learned from Natalie Goldberg when he took a workshop with her in Taos, New Mexico. He advised that if you used this method of writing practice, you’d never experience writer’s block again.
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He started with the prompt, what I don’t remember is . . .
When I wrote what I don’t remember in my journal, I held on to the pen so tight that my fingers started to cramp. Oh God, please don’t take me there. A memory from my troubled family home had surfaced. I fought it. I wrote out what I don’t remember is . . . at least five times.
For the last five years, I’d been writing morning pages (The Artist Way by Julia Cameron) and I’d become accustomed to going where the pen took me. I knew if I didn’t go with “flow” that I’d experience writer’s block. So I wrote the dreaded memory.
I’d listened to the others read their writing. Most of it contained phrases like what I don’t remember is what I went upstairs for …”
“Nancy,” Ed said. “Would you like to read your piece?”
My voice shook. “I didn’t what to write what I wrote because I knew that I’d have to read it. But I went where the pen took me.”
To be continued …