Essential Reading

Some things I’ve been reading online recently that have been helping to shape my understanding of what essential writing means:

(They’re a bit of a mixed bag, but that’s the thread that connects them together…)

The Power of Words And Writing

A good news publishing story from the fabulous author Emma Newman, including reflections on the power of setting out your intention in writing.  As Emma says, it’s a wonderful example of how writing changes things.

I didn’t realise that six month post was so powerful, but every time I flagged since I wrote it, the memory of that intent kept me going.

See the Angel Beside You

This is a gripping read from Patti Digh demonstrating so many aspects of what I’d call essential writing: clear, simple language; storytelling; a powerful message; a tale that comes from the heart… and makes a difference to those that read it.

Here’s a taste:

I hoped the seat would stay empty. I couldn’t imagine making small talk. Instead, a tall young man with a big jacket sat down, immediately smothering me. I held my book in my lap to distract myself: “The Devil’s Highway” by Luis Urrea. He said, “that book looks interesting,” and I nodded without committing to an answer, wanting to return to my hot internal obsession about my future-or lack of it. He stood up and took his jacket off, making me feel a little less claustrophobic in the small space beside him.

“Can I tell you something?” he asked. I turned to face him. “Sure,” I said, slowly.

“I am terrified,” he said quietly.

A Planet Without Flowers?

Ulla Hennig reminds us that you can sometimes convey a most powerful message with the simplest of mediums: a photograph, and one line of text.

Brave New Worlds

Janice Cartier reflects on her blogging journey and how the commitment to writing practice can help you find your voice.

I thought to myself, “Just do it, improve it as you go. Be present, show up and give it your best shot in that moment.” Just like in the studio. It still gives me big butterflies in my stomach. But here’s the funny thing about practicing, about setting out on a course of practice.

It can lead to discovery.

Discovery of one’s voice.

Stand Out and Stand In

A great post from Christine Kane on times when we need to stand ‘in’ to stand out.

When we “Stand Out,” or when we “step out” into what we want, what we’re actually doing is moving deeper inward. In fact, I’d wager to say that the inward movement is required in order to hold our center.

So, it might look like Standing Out. In the spotlight, into clarity, in a bigger playing field.

But what you’re really doing is Standing In. Deeper within yourself. Centering your intentions. Grounded in awareness.

I don’t know about you, but for me that’s a big part of what writing allows me to do.  Stand deeper within myself, more centred and grounded.

What have you been reading recently that you’d describe as essential writing?