Friday, June 22, 2007

Back to blogging practice

It's never inspiring, for the writer or reader, to encounter a blog entry that apologizes, or rationalizes, or otherwise makes reference to the dearth of blogging.

And yet, my readers, here is such a beginning.

I'm writing today to renew my dedication to the practice of blogging. Blogging as practice.

Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and a number of other Zen-inspired books on writing, talks about "writing practice," about making writing a daily practice in the way that meditation is a daily practice. You do it because you do it.

Says Goldberg in a Sun Magazine interview:

But interest in Bones crossed every cultural line. Vice-presidents of insurance companies in Florida bought it, and so did quarry workers in Missouri. It was as though people were starving to write, but they didn’t know how, because the way writing was taught didn’t work for them. I think the idea of writing as a practice freed them up. It meant that they could trust their minds, that they were allowed to fail.

I love the reference to quarry workers in my current home state of Missouri. My father worked in a quarry most of my life. He never finished high school, but he was a manager of a quarry before he retired. I can't exactly imagine my father doing writing practice, but now that I think of it, he is an awfully good example of the kind of steady patience that practice cultivates.

The less one blogs, the more one feels obligated to say something "deep." (Not that I'm trying that now.) It's important just to practice. To allow oneself to fail. And not to fail.


KR said...

Welcome back! I was actually getting a little worried! I always look forward to your feed. Take care!

Donna said...

Thanks, KR!

chris said...

welcome back, indeed.

i wasn't worried about you, but i am curious about what you've been up to.

ooo, i forgot to mention, i saw Rebecca at RSA. i didn't hang out with her much except in "class." but i think she's (and her work) pretty cool.

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