Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writing with the Mythological Voice; Learning from Natalie Reid

One of the best writing experiences I've ever had was the opportunity to take an all-day workshop with author and teacher, Natalie Reid.  Natalie teaches a technique she calls "writing with the mythological voice" and it is, in my opinion, the quickest and easiest way to find your authentic writer's voice. 

The Spiritual Alchemist: Working with the Voice of Your Soul is Natalie's complete presentation of her ideas and exercises you can do alone at home or with a creative group (preferably with people you trust and feel comfortable with).  The book even includes a beautiful CD to guide you along so that you don't have to break out of the creative flow to read about "what to do next."  There is so much I could say about the book:  it is fantastic; it is motivating; it is educational, but I think I would rather just offer one of the myths that I wrote during Natalie's class.  I called it, The Woman Who was Fast.

There once was a woman who was fast.  She could cook in three minutes flat the best of meals.  She could paint the living room before breakfast.  She could type 230 words a minute.  She could speak without breathing, run marathons in under an hour, make the bed with one hand, and listen to her own voice while hearing the problems of others.  She was so full of speed and energy it took the greatest powers of control to keep her feet on the ground and the clouds out of her hair.  There was nothing she couldn't do in record time or better, and soon she found her fame and speedy accomplishments whizzing around the globe and shooting out of the TV and computer screens.  There were instant blogs and short sound bites that praised her efficiency and miraculous abilities to go and go and go and never complain or take time out for rest.  Soon she learned that she could go even faster if she mopped floors with one foot, worked her time-saving generator with the other, dust with her left hand and write with her mouth.  In her right hand she could turn the pages of a book and read separate books with her two different eyes.  Faster, faster, faster she urged herself when she felt herself lag by a minute or two.  Time is money and money is all that matters in the end because without money how could any of the world's problems be solved?  Where would the food come from?  The clothes, the teachers, the houses, the machinery for war?  She couldn't let up for a second.  There was so much to do and she was good at what she did because she was fast.  She was so fast she could speed up her heart and she learned to love and hate and cry and speak with the same breath and all the while her heart pumped and pumped and pounded and thrust until her heartbeats became a distant whir and she woke up from the fastest dream of her life--no more than .002 of a second--in a cold sweat and sudden panicky fear that her heart was so fast she could no longer hear it.

It's been over two years since I wrote this piece in Natalie's workshop.  Unfortunately, like all myths, it is is still rings true.  Oh, dear...

Tip of the Day:  Wondering who your writer-self really is?  Go on the equivalent of a writer's vision quest with The Spiritual Alchemist: Working with the Voice of Your Soul.  The answers will surprise--and inspire--you.  You can also learn more about Natalie at her website,  Best wishes on your journey.


kath said...

That was such an interesting read, Valerie. Thank you for sharing your writing as an example. I could feel myself reading faster and faster as the story progressed, which was, no doubt, what you intended us to do.

I am off to check out The Spiritual Alchemist now.

Rachel Fenton said...

You really sucked me in there with your myth - stopped breathing myself by the end of it! Great.