Write Without Imposing Structure
"I get very nervous when people start talking about structure. It always sound like a cage over my writing...Structure imposed from the outside according to a preconceived formula is a cage. It does not allow the original and organic shape of the writing to emerge. Structure created before the fact of writing is artificial and limiting. Real structure comes from within the material itself, is not separate from it, which is why I like to leave a discussion of structure until plenty of writing has been done."
~Patti Miller, Writing your Life.
Right now, I have to tell you, I want to fly to Australian and give Patti a big kiss on the lips! Reading these words were breathtaking. They gave me goose pimples, I was so excited. I joined a writing class at the University of British Columbia Writing your Life's Story: Autobiography and Memoir. Last night was my first class. I was looking forward to learning more about writing and I was blessed to have the beautiful and well traveled Marlene Schiwy teaching the class.
There are many reasons why people, whether 18 or 80, want to write a story of their life's events. It is more about looking back in retrospect, rather than seeing the daily happenings. The motives can be for:
- healing (so you can make sense of things, whether it be a divorce/abuse/loss/adoption and so forth),
- history (wanting to share for future generations),
- lineage (so your grandchildren and children will know more about you at a deeper level),
- wisdom (the learning you've done from living), or
- creativity (to explore the art and craft of writing...).
I heard so many people, from writing coaches, published authors, published author want-a-bees, various tele-class speakers and many more, telling me that I need structure to my book prior to writing. "This was really important to do," they'd say. This concept was hard for me to wrap my head around. I wasn't clear on how I was supposed to structure my book. I didn't even know what it was going to be about. Let alone figure out the title, chapters, and sub-chapters. I had some ideas but nothing was set in stone, and neither did I want it to be. But because I thought these other people (in loving opinions) knew better because of their experience, I believed it was best to listen to them.
My God, forgive me for not listening once again, to you, my higher wisdom! When will I learn? I had a way of doing the process, writing that is. I heard my Voice within. It gave me all the guidance I needed. Then, as I pursued more opinions and such, I got more confused and lost the belief within myself. Some were deep inside of me, a core belief of listening to others with greater experience, and following what they've done is my weakness. I relinquished my true and loving essence for another's opinion. It's not that opinions are wrong to follow. It's good to hear others out. We learn. We grow. We gain much clarity about what we want. We experience other people's stories, thoughts and feelings. But when we relinquish our own divinity, our own essence for someone else's, we stop living with integrity. We stop being true to our self.
If you've been reading my blog posts or my ezines, I've stated this several times in past stories - about listening to the small Voice from within. Every new experience brings on new challenges, more awareness, more insight and more growth. A new place of taking action. Divine action is about trying not to get caught up in the worldly stuff and staying true to ourselves.
Cheers to Patti Miller, once again, reminding me to writing with structure. Not to worry what it looks like initially. The structure will form from within guiding me gently every step of the way showing me what to do. My soul's journey is mine, yet still for the Greater Good of All.
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