The Right to Write, by Julia Cameron, have you read it? The complete title proclaims, “An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life.” Of course this immediately appealed to me, but as Cameron points out though essays and example, “We come into life as writers.” She believes we all have an innate need to write whether we profess to be a writer or not. I tend to agree.
I’ve known for years journaling is healthy. I easily get my feelings hurt or sit down on my pity-pot, yet from the depth of despair I have been lifted, simply by creating what I call a gratitude list—things we are grateful for—starting with the air we breathe, warm socks, or air conditioning. Hope springs from gratitude, and from a list of simple thanks bubbles joy. It is no small miracle available to anyone with pencil and a sheet of paper.
Many years ago, I took a linguistics class where the professor pointed out the obvious—we are the only creatures with a written language. All animals have their own language, some seem to understand our dialect, but no other species besides the human animal have the ability to write and record. This was a revelation to me; something I never considered. It is not our intellect, but the ability to write that separates us. I am humbly grateful for this gift to clarify my thoughts, order my day, use metaphor, or write music.
Julia Cameron acknowledges and encourages each of us to utilize this gift on a daily basis. Each chapter in The Right to Write is an essay of poetic prose, contemplative, and designed to encourage the reader to write whether a proclaimed writer or not. She debunks writing myths and phobias of perfection, and I have found the exercises at the end of each chapter fun and helpful.
Someday meeting Julia Cameron – it’s on my bucket list.