“Where do you get your ideas? Where does it all come from?”
That’s the question my father asked me when we were sitting outside on our balcony in Ronda, Spain during our month in Andalucía. Before I had time to think, I said, “It’s about connecting to the truth, and then writing about it. But we have to learn how to connect to the truth first.” That’s where writing begins. Long before sitting down at the computer or with pen and paper. It’s a practice of seeing past the mirage of distractions, straight to the essence, the core, of what’s in front of us. It’s a practice of listening beyond the noise to hear what exists in the vibrations and rhythms around us.
A writer’s practice is ongoing, we are continuously deepening our connection to the truth. It happens when we are conscious of it (taking a walk through the woods or giving thanks before a meal), and it happens when we are unconscious of it (dreaming at night or going about our busy lives). We learn to connect with the truth, so that by the time we sit down to write, we are miles ahead of where we think we are. We are ready to begin putting into words all that we have been practicing. The material is already there; it is already a part of us. Now we must give it form.