So said Julia Cameron in her introduction to The Right to Write.
We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes us directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and mediation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance as well.
Cameron’s best know tome is The Artist’s Way and it is regularly referenced in lists on the best books on writing. “Show up at the page” is the message – both in pursuit of your art and in the discipline of the “morning pages“. She uses the habit of three long hand pages of writing every morning on awakening as a means to clear the mind of distractions and anxieties, freeing up space for creativity to flourish.
She concludes her introduction to the Right to Write with:
It is my hope that this book will help to heal writers who are broken, initiate writers who are afraid, and entice writers who are standing at the river’s edge waiting to put a toe in.
I have a fantasy. It’s the pearly gates. St. Peter has out his questionnaire, he asks me the Big Question, “What did you do that we should let you in?”
“I convinced people they should write,” I tell him. The great gates swing open.
I share her fantasy.
For over a dozen years now I have facilitated groups exploring both The Artist’s Way and her three subsequent books on writing – The Right to Write (1998), The Sound of Paper (2004), the latest Write For Life (2023).
The lastest is the third in her series of 6 week/6 chapter explorations of The Artist’s Way.
It’s may be subtitled “A Toolkit for Writers” but what comes through is the generosity of spirit and goodwill in sharing her methods and process.
It does read like her “love letter to writing”.
If you’d like support in showing up at the page, get in touch!