Last week I decided to share my thoughts and insights from my Inner Jedi notebook.
Here’s the question for Week 2:
“As a Padawan learner, Jedi apprentices study under the tutelage of a Jedi Master. Who are the mentors in your life who have imparted great wisdom to you? What lessons have you learned from them?“
Here’s my entry:
“When I think of mentors, I think mostly in terms of writing. There are a few teachers who encouraged me in writing–my fifth grade teacher Mr. Lapean, who liked my fantasy stories; my English teacher at the community college, Phyllis Nahman, who liked my papers and essays and told me that I’m a good writer. They were good encouragers.
But as far as “wisdom” goes, I have to go to writers and their books on writing. My major writing guru for many years was Natalie Goldberg. I discovered her book “Writing Down the Bones” in the early 90s when I was in my early 20s, and it was probably the greatest influence on how I went about writing–and living. I read all of her writing books and all of her memoirs, and filled stacks and stacks of notebooks with writing based on her methods and exercises, notebooks I still have in a cardboard box somewhere. Her writing rules were: 1. Don’t think; 2. Keep your pen moving; and 3. Go for the jugular. Timed writing is big–start with “I remember” and go for 10 minutes, don’t stop until the 10 minutes are up. The point was to evade the censor and get to “wild mind.” I still do this kind of writing sometimes, but not always. What stuck with me was her absolute commitment to writing, her personal stories, and her belief that writing and living are intertwined. One enriches the other.
I’ve had other writing gurus over the years–Julia Cameron and her “Artist’s Way” books; Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” is a wonderful book on creativity and living. And lately I’ve been reading Jen Sincero’s Badass books, which are about reaching your greatest potential. I guess gurus are a bit different than mentors. I’ll just call them teachers.”
I’m still meditating, too, which impresses me, lol. I’m up to ten minutes a day. It’s definitely an interesting experience, wrangling with your own mind. These two make it look easy:
Do you have any mentors? If you feel so inclined, tell me about them in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!