- by Dara Girard
WRITING WILD is about awareness, about waking up through our senses and discovering our interconnection to all things. This realization changes a person. In my case, it affected my relationship with myself and that created a domino series of changes in my marriage, in my mothering, in my position with my original family. In the book, I discuss how exhilarating this was for me and perplexing for the others.
Who is this book not for?
WRITING WILD, Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature is a book about becoming more awake to ourselves and the natural world. Who wouldn’t enjoy that? I have written the book in terms of creative writing and journal keeping, because that’s what I know. And it’s the path that has worked for me. Joseph Campbell said, “People say that what we’re seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive…” For anyone who wishes to enjoy a greater experience of being alive, creative energy and a relationship with the natural world are the paths outlined in WRITING WILD and they sure worked for me.
Most members of Novelists Inc are multi-published writers with plenty of ideas, what can they gain from nature?
Nature is the macrocosm; personal energy is the microcosm. What is true for the larger is true for the smaller. Nature provides patterns for us to use in managing our creative energy. For example, the natural world demonstrates that we cannot continuously produce creative material, nature has seasons and so must we as writers. We need to honor our winter time and attend to our inner lives, in other words, rest and grow our roots.
You talk about “lowering your standards” to open the flow of creative energy; how does that work?
When we hold high expectations of ourselves we put up an immediate obstacle to moving forward. We can so easily freeze up and do nothing. Lowering our standards is a phrase I borrowed from the poet William Stafford, who taught me that by lowering our expectations and the demands on ourselves we are free to move onward, to create wholly original work. We must drop our urge to compare our work to others or to our past work or to our expected work. We want to be surprised, so we need to be vulnerable and wide open to whatever occurs to us at each moment.
You say that nature triggers stories, does that really happen?
I have seen it happen over and over to students in my workshops and have experienced it myself. Although it feels mysterious with something of the divine to it, science backs this process up. And it all begins with the senses. So simple. So enjoyable. I have found storylines for my novels and personal insights for my inner work. I lay it out in 3 easy steps in WRITING WILD.
Why is a book like this important now?
WRITING WILD offers reminders to go within and experience ourselves rather than react to the relentless distractions and demands of the outer world. And, of course, any way of being that points to the value of our earth may lead people to forego plastic bags, to turn off lights when leaving a room, bicycle or walk those couple miles to the store or work. The earth is required to feed and support an ever growing population without the population feeding and supporting it.
What do you mean by “there are no failures”?
Wonderful inventions have come to us through so-called mistakes – Velcro and chocolate chips cookies for example. Mistakes are openings that create a whole new set of choices for us. Failures – meaning a creative project that didn’t turn out the way we hoped – show us to let go of our expectations. They remind us that outcomes are none of our business.
Find out more about WRITING WILD and Tina’s other works at tinawelling.com