Monday, April 29, 2013

What If You Were Forbidden to Write

This past weekend Pacifica Graduate Institute gathered writers into a Jungian container of myth and stories of the inner journey. Dennis Patrick Slattery was one of the leaders who held the space for us and he describes myth as being, "a loom on which we weave the raw materials of daily experience into a coherent story."

Dennis is a charming man dedicated to helping others find and follow the path of the writer.  He has a new book filled with over 80 writing meditations designed to help writers go deeper into the part of themselves that wants to be expressed in words.  At one point, he asked us how important writing was to us. "Would you have to die if you were forbidden to write?"  If the answer is yes, he said, "Your whole life must be built in accordance with this necessity."

That statement struck me.  I've always wanted to be a writer and writing is how I make sense of the world ... however, have I built my life in accordance with this necessity? How would my life be different if I did?  Steven King says that in order to be a writer, we need to read a lot and write a lot.  That's pretty easy, but how else do writers design their lives to be support their chosen paths?  Something to ponder.

Here's a link to a video of Dennis talking about his new book:
Riting Myth, Mythic Writing: Plotting Your Personal Story.


  1. Oh my. that is a powerful question -- and leaves me wondering... have I?

    Breathing into it. time to reflect.

    Thank you my friend for this. I am wondering and wandering into 'the loom' spinning the threads to find my place.

  2. Louise ... let me know what you come up with. I, too, am wondering and wandering. hugs.

  3. Give yourself the time. Without that, writing doesn't get done. And when you have the time, write. You can write standing in a line in a grocery store, waiting while your car is being repaired, even while you're vacuuming the house (sometimes the writing has to take place when you're not at a computer or sitting with pen and paper). Write, and stop thinking about being a writer.