The Writers Circle

creative writing community, craft and inspiration

The Cocoon of Creative Freedom

Writers should take courage from Elizabeth Gilbert’s candid revelation that she scraped an entire 500-page manuscript following the success of her bestselling “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s not uncommon – the stifling anxiety that comes with any measure of success, and the palette cleansing that’s required to discover something new. If that doesn’t speak to the difficulty of writing, perhaps nothing can.

Writing is an emotional journey as well as an intellectual process. A good story, characters, technique and indomitable dedication aren’t enough. Writing requires clarity of mind and spirit. When creativity is distracted by outside voices – from the media, from our own egos or insecurities, or from the characters we’ve left behind – it takes time, patience and self-awareness to find the stillness to write well again.

Take heart, everyone who dreams of publishing. And be careful what you ask for. Every dream come true carries a price. So enjoy the cocoon of creative freedom that comes with anonymity.

About Judith

Judith Lindbergh's latest novel, Pasture of Heaven, is about a nomad woman warrior on the Central Asian steppes in the 5th century BCE. (And there really were!) Her first novel, The Thrall's Tale, is a literary historical novel about three women in the first Viking Age settlement in 10th century Greenland. The Thrall's Tale was a Booksense Pick and a Borders Original Voices selection. Judith is also the founder and director of The Writers Circle, a creative writing program offering workshops for children and adults.

2 comments on “The Cocoon of Creative Freedom

  1. Stephanie Cowell
    August 22, 2009

    Ah yes, it does carry a price, this writing dream! Do you feel sometimes we met a crafty old fairy who whispered, “I will grant you three wishes….”


    • Judith
      August 22, 2009

      Stephanie, so true!!! Indeed, the crafty fairy even laughed ironically as she flew away. But I will never regret the gift or the lessons I’ve learned. Still, it would be nice if it was easier.

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