Composting, Baking, Walking: Growing Narratives

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Natalie Goldberg has written a lot about the concept of composting (in publications such as Wild Mind, and Writing Down The Bones) and creative practice.

So it’s about letting ideas filter, allowing characters to grow, permitting narratives to form at their own pace.

Psychologists (such as Sternberg and Lubart) have analysed the role of creativity in society and businesses.

But there is something so simple about moving from the mind to the body in the act of baking…..and you get rewarded for it too. Yes, let those ideas compost, get that body moving, free up your mind, leave those ingredients do their thing and, if you can, get out into the air; let those feet do the thinking.

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Later you can enjoy that apple slice and experimental something with the left over pastry and apple. And when you’ve had the coffee and slice, it’s time to return to the work. You will probably have a few lines to get out of your head.

Happy baking. Happy walking. Happy writing.

 

Festive Reading, Thinking and Doing

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I love reading books recommended by readers and writers which means my to be read pile just keeps growing.

These days I’m reading a lot on the kindle. Having ‘turned’ the last page of Stephen King’s The Outsider last week I’m now almost finished with the truly wonderful Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room. 

After that I’m going to move through the pile above – yes. I will be revisiting books already read, re-reading and analysing, reading fresh stories, typing, baking and cooking.

I will be allowing my mind compost (as Anne Lamott might say), letting my body rest. As much as I can. Intentions are part of the trick, I think. Oh yes and at some stage over Christmas I will write.

And give and receive presents. And be grateful. And make plans to get that new to be read pile down. Joy, I say, the joys of reading. That ‘portable magic’, as Stephen King calls it. In today’s world of inequality, extreme politics, and violence, we need this magic more than ever.