Magic Spell to Brighten Dingy Gray Writing

Writing from an adult state of mind often results in dingy gray writing that has all the appeal of instruction manuals for installing dishwashers. The roots of gray writing go all the way back to childhood. Remember when you first started coloring in a color book? The day you made the sky bright orange and scribbled the grass purple and put pink leaves on the tree? And your mother looked aghast at your proud efforts. “You know the sky is blue. Why did you make the grass purple?” And you knew failure.  Even if you don’t remember, your Inner Critic was born that day, and life became a little less fun. So here you are now, wanting with every fiber of your being to amaze your family and friends with wondrous webs of enchanting words, and you sit staring at blank paper with your solar plexus squooshing your guts up into the back of your throat and you think of orange skies and you can no more write brightly blossoming words than fly to the moon.
Maori boys jumping in riverReclaim your right to chose your own colors. Release your Wild Child, listen to your heart, then color and write on your own terms. That’s the only way to amaze anyone with wondrous writing.

If you dare to try something zany, here’s a special magic spell Sarabelle taught me for keeping Gretchen out of my way. To cast the spell, you’ll need a medium-sized glass jar or drinking glass, your favorite pen or pencil and plenty of unlined paper (best for writing outside the lines, which this spell is all about). Place the jar next to your paper and pen.
Now, sit comfortably in your chair, ready to write, and rest your write hand on your paper. Place your other hand over your solar plexus (the soft triangle where your ribs begin to spread apart). Press gently and notice any sensation of tension or tenderness there. Close your eyes and take a deep, slow breath, filling your lungs comfortably full. Concentrate on the feeling of your breath entering your body. Exhale gently, relaxing and feeling peaceful as the breath departs. Feel your solar plexus relax. Repeat six times, feeling more calm and relaxed each time.

On the seventh breath, fill your lungs completely. Raise your write hand and place it below your mouth in a cupped position. Push on your solar plexus with your other hand as you exhale forcefully, “blowing” the Inner Critic out into the palm of your waiting hand. Quickly close your hand and grasp the critic firmly to keep it from slipping away. Use your other hand to raise the glass jar to one side, and slip the critic underneath, quickly snapping the jar down to capture it inside. You may or may not be able to see it. That doesn’t matter. Know it’s in there, and promise to call it when you need it, but be firm in telling it to sit there quietly. Slide the jar to the back of the desk.

You are now free to write all the
wondrous words you dream of.
To celebrate your freedom, pick up your pen and write a story about the most beautiful flower you’ve ever seen or can imagine. Write about seductive scents and ethereal lighting. Write about running around the yard blowing soap bubbles. Write about your favorite toys. Write about swinging clear up to the sky and digging to China in the sand. Write with joy and abandon and don’t worry at all what it sounds like.

Inner Critics often need lots of training before they'll stay put in their jar, but you can repeat this magic anytime yours gets loose and turns your writing dingy gray again.

Write now: about other joyous memories. Write about scary things as if you are a child telling your Grandma. Write a story about your IC. When did it appear? How does it influence you? What would you write if it were to disappear? Let your words whirl, soar and spin with joy and glee. Write like nobody is reading, and ... HAVE FUN playing with words!


Pat's Place said...

That was a MARVELOUS article today!! Hope you don't mind if I borrow it for my writing group this evening1 It is so playful, but SO important! I will LOVE seeing them respond to the glass jar idea. Will report later.

Ritergal said...

Pat, I'm flattered to be an unseen guest at your writing group tonight. Do let me know how it goes. I hadn't thought of doing this in a group. :-)