why I write

An exercise in self-definition: why I write

What if I told you a story?   Breakfast with mamá, galleria area Houston, 2014 — the year I came back home to live with my parents.   She hints at my finding a job as casually as she stirs the sugar in her coffee. I ruffle my nose. It […]

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Stakes

∀ Art by Scott Gustafson ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Cameron ends her Stakes chapter with a quote from Shakespeare’s character, Polonius: “To thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any […]

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ESP

∀ Who better to symbolize the extrasensory than a writer who wrote extrasensory? JJ. ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   ESP: perception (as in telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition) that involves awareness of information about events external to the self not gained through the senses and not […]

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Roots

∀ Seed leaders making roots rise, Euralis Semences ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Look over your life. Find a choice you made for yourself that had a positive outcome. “This assignment,” says Julia, “is a celebration both of freedom and of courage.”   I’m hella […]

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I would love to write, but…

∀ Image pulled from this inactive twitter account… ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   1. My first pet dog 2. The sun and the beach 3. My first kiss 4. Walking around New York City 5. The pleasure of brewing tea   This exercise calls for […]

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Sound

∀ Photo of dream pop duo BEACH HOUSE ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   My favorite sense.   We are asked to take a moment to note all the sounds in our immediate area. A settling in. Then to write expansively on the following areas: Spirituality, […]

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Practice

∀ Pasolini in his film Decameron ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Julia Cameron mentions in her chapter Practice that the consistency of writing everyday makes the writing life worth it, empowers us to live for the page, enables us to connect to life more readily. […]

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Form vs Formula

∀ “We feed all — we work for all!” ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   A heavy cocktail of blockage: perfectionism, formulas, performance anxiety. The cure?   “Write five circumstances in which you could use writing.” The point here is to acknowledge that there are things […]

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Voice (cup exercise)

∀ Bobby! ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   We all have a voice. We just have to take in some air and as a breath our voice is born. Writing works the same. We all have something to say. We just have to give ourselves some […]

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Vulnerability

∀ Beautiful fan-fiction by Meibara34: Risking injury for a higher purpose + letting ourselves be healed + tending to another = being a hero. ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Today’s exercise follows last week’s Honesty exercise. Cameron calls Vulnerability “honesty’s shy younger sister… the part […]

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Honesty

∀ “When keeping it real goes wrong” — by the indelible Dave Chappelle. ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   At my elementary school there were hung a series of one word banners along the main hallway from the entrance to the back of the school. One […]

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Making it (part two: from you to inner writer)

∀From the film Adaptation. by Charlie Kaufman. ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   “Using this tool will give you a chance to air your fears and grievances,” writes Jules C. “It will also give you a chance to offer reassurance and make plans.”   Last week […]

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Making it (part one: from inner writer to you)

∀From the film Adaptation. by Charlie Kaufman. ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Damn! I am having this conversation more and more, so I am glad Julia Cameron assigned this two part initiation tool to the Writing Life. Just write. Just Write. Just WRITE. In part […]

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Happiness

∀ This Goldfrapp song comes to mind ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   I feel like I wrote something like this before. Basically, this week’s exercise calls for a realignment. No more extreme emotion writing, simply happy. No delusions about grandeur, epic, brooding writing. No to […]

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Being an open channel

∀ Lavender: what would it be like to walk through a field of you? ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   We know already, writing doesn’t come from within — well it does — but it comes from without: without excuses, without ego, without judgment. It flows. […]

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Witness

∀ Katy Perry’s latest album is titled Witness. Here’s a remix and a fan-made video for “Chain to the Rhythm.” ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   “So much of the loneliness of modern life comes because we no longer witness each other,” writes Cameron. “Our lives […]

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Sketching

∀ Art by Khalil Chishtee ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   The time is 7:56. I mark it because this exercise calls for ten minutes of pre-writing writing, a sort of stretch before the real run. The route I’m taking leads to what Cameron calls “simply […]

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Specificity

∀ Photo of Mies Van Der Rohe, the architect who once exclaimed, “God is in the details.” ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   (DISCLAIMER: “This tool is not intended to be high art or serious writing. It is simply an exercise in observation… writing of a […]

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Drama

∀Art from @Equis_SoyBonita ¶ Prompt from Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write.   Today’s exercise is simple, write a list of one hundred things that you, personally, love. “Set aside one half hour. Settle yourself comfortably. Number from one to a hundred.” And then go. Below is my list. Cameron […]

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