Writing the Wild Within: Part 2 – Predator and Prey

White-Tailed Ptarmigan, copyright Ellen Wilson
White-Tailed Ptarmigan, copyright Ellen Wilson

Creatures in the wild are constantly alert.  They have to be.  You either eat, or will be eaten.

It’s all part of the natural cycle.  We eat things.  We digest them.

We spit out our art.

But do we?  Can we?

What keeps us from being true to ourselves – true to our inner core?  What is the predator within the cycle of our writing?  Can we identify it?

The Predator

The biggest predator you will find that will stop you in your tracks is the EDITOR.  This editor will keep you from saying what you need to say. This editor will shame you, berate you, and try to make you look like a fool.

Don’t listen.

The EDITOR, like the Devil, takes many shapes and forms.  You will find the EDITOR in your psyche as you try to write.  You will hear things like:  I can’t say that, they will think I’m crazy!  What will my mother/father/brother/lover/sister think? 

Fuhgeddaboutit.  Your are crazy. You are wild.  A wild writer.  So chase after your words and let them pop from the keyboard of your mind onto the page.

Specific Writing Problems May Relate To:

The Evil Master – If you are a woman, you may find your writing peppered with hedging statements.  We have been trained from an early age to be “nice.”  Learn to resist this EDITOR and blaze on with who you are!  Not who someone wants you to be.  Make friends with your animus. The male part of you.  This male doesn’t take shit.  He will beat up those who mess with you.  Like the EDITOR.

The Bitchy Mistress – If you are a man, you may find your writing being extremely self centered and egotistical.  You have been trained from an early age to think you are the center of the world.  Try to find your anima.  The female part of you.  Make friends with her, or you will forever be alienated from all females on the Earth. This female is caring, and she likes to include others’ viewpoints.

Next time you stare at that empty page and think you have made several false starts – think again.  Who is trying to keep you from what you need to say?  Track the editor/predator in your psyche.  Learn the who, what, where, how, and why of what it is.  Then it won’t track YOU anymore.

After you identify the editor/predator, put it to good use – in the editing process.  Throw it a hunk of meat of your raw writing.  This is where this creature is best utilized.

Once tamed, it will never bother you again.

Photo Credit: © Ellen Wilson

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Writing the Wild Within – Part 1

Red Fox, copyright Ellen Wilson

 

Sooner or later you will have to get wild. You will have to shed your skin, and find the writer within.
Skin Keeps us Safe

We hide within a realm of things. We hide within society, and what we think our place is in it. We hide within ourselves, and who we think we are.

Sometimes we hide within our egos, or within our pain.

I’m sure you can think of many reasons to hide.

And although hiding can serve a purpose, it can also hold us back from being true to ourselves.

It is a constant balance between what we need as individuals, and what we need as a society.

Learn the Way of the Wild

I started out as a wildlife/nature photographer. I spent many hours crouching in the mud, and standing perfectly still while being consumed by black flies. How else would I catch my prey?

I was shooting pictures, and not game, but it is, and will always be, the same.

What I have learned is this:

There is a certain rhyme and rhythm to nature, and the creatures who dance in it.

Although we have seemed to have forgotten this flow, we can get it back.

The natural world can teach us much about conserving our energy, and giving it back to society. It can also teach us how to hide, and how burst out in full flame.

Perhaps we have lost these traits due to too much domestication. Too much civilization.

We can get it back…

Care to join me on the journey?

Thank you very much.

Photo Credit: © Ellen Wilson

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