From the booklet by Brenda Ueland, “Tell Me More on the Fine Art of Listening”

I just love this excerpt.  I have read Brenda Ueland’s little booklet many times and am inspired by her wise words.

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. Think how the friends that really listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius as though it did us good, like ultraviolet rays.

This is the reason: When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life. You know how if a person laughs at your jokes you become funnier and funnier, and if he does not, every tiny little joke in you weakens up and dies? Well, that is the principle of it. It makes people happy and free when they are listened to. And if you are a listener, it is the secret of having a good time in society (because everybody around you becomes lively and interesting), of comforting people, of doing them good.

Writing Practice

“Writing is like driving the car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”   quote from E.L. Doctorow

So true.  When you think you don’t know what to write about, you just start writing and then write some more.  Soon the story sifts out and draft upon draft eventually becomes a book.  That’s how I did it.  It took me four years but I loved the writing, especially on the days when tears dripped onto my laptop.  Then I knew I was getting at what mattered.

Writing for me is a spiritual practice, like meditating, or yoga.  I write in my journal everyday and just put down any thoughts that are swirling around in my head.  I find it to be a sort of purging or a way to get in touch with myself.  Sometimes I discover new ways to look at my problems and when I close up my laptop, I think OK, that problem doesn’t really have the turbulence it did.  My psyche is restored to calm waters.