Think of Yourself as Incandescent Power

Inspiration is a beautiful word when you break it down. It means “to breathe in,” from the Latin, in-spir-a-tus’. Some trace the word to “the immediate influence of God or gods” under which the holy books were written. In – spire – to breathe in spirit.

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And there are those who believe that writing—the art of writing—is a holy act. I happen to be one of those people. This is not to say that what we write is always holy… not by a long shot, witness some of the very books you and I have written, some of today’s best sellers, 50 shades of books that have been judged as profane. Natalie Goldberg’s “worst junk in America,” Anne Lamott’s “shitty first drafts,” my own shambled notebooks. But the act of writing, that is what’s holy.

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A Madeleine Moment

As usual before a workshop, I pick up a coffee to take with me. And so it was that on a recent Sunday morning I drove the roundabout way to The Ink Spot to stop at Starbucks for my regular Americano. As I waited at the light, a young man crossed the street in front of me. Slender, wearing jeans and a long-sleeved blue pullover, he carried what could have been a journal, could have been a book.

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Read it Aloud? The Whole Thing?

We’ve all heard it before, from writing teachers and well-published authors and in books about writing: Read your work aloud to really discover what you’ve written and whether or not it’s “working.” There are lots of other reasons for giving voice to your words.

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