November 1, 2011

by Renée Layberry

The main thing that drew me to the publishing industry is my lifelong interest in writing. The written word is undeniably a powerful thing. It’s been the most important and reliable activity by which I’ve found my way back to myself when lost. It’s started and ended relationships, healed wounds, and gotten things done.

“...We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.” ~ C. Day Lewis.

All that to say that my “writer’s block” has been shaken loose in the presence of all the manuscripts , dreams, frustrations, emotions, motivations and ideas of my clients. The only way I am going to settle the muttering in my mind is to put pen to paper.

I am convinced that writing is the best way for me to find my own voice. To that end, I’ve begun working with an old copy of Gabriele Lusser Rico’s Writing the Natural Way, which has a series of exercises (among other things) that develop right brain techniques in order to write more intuitively according to natural rhythms and expression.

I’m about to begin on the third exercise and I have to admit that it’s not been at all easy. The first two exercises have had me tearing out pages and swearing and muttering. I even lost a good night of sleep because I was so irritated that my writing of one particular exercise (a poem for my husband) turned out less than achingly beautiful and shockingly insightful.

Accessing a more intuitive mode of writing has somehow because more difficult than I remember. Some of it is because I’m concerned with the technicalities of the manuscripts of other authors for a solid 8 hours a day, but most of it has to do with the above-mentioned laziness, distraction, inertia. It doesn’t matter.

Writing is clearly something that becomes stronger and more supple when exercised, so, here’s me getting off my cushy bum and doing that thing I keep saying I should be doing. That thing that, as it turns out, I really, really, really want to do. And so this morning, I got up two hours earlier than usual, and I’m committed to getting the first chunk of writing done by 7am.

1666 words a day for the next 30 days, and at the end of that, something that hopefully resembles a relatively interesting and readable 50,000 word novel.