9780140195873

One Continuous Mistake : Four Nobel Truths for Writers

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780140195873

  • ISBN10:

    0140195874

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-04-01
  • Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)

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Summary

Based on the Zen philosophy that we learn more from our failures than from our successes, One Continuous Mistake teaches a refreshing new method for writing as spiritual practice. In this unique guide for writers of all levels, Gail Sher'a poet who is also a widely respected teacher of creative writing'combines the inspirational value of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way with the spiritual focus of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Here she introduces a method of discipline that applies specific Zen practices to enhance and clarify creative work. She also discusses bodily postures that support writing, how to set up the appropriate writing regimen, and how to discover one's own "learning personality." In the tradition of such classics as Writing Down the Bones and If You Want to Write, One Continuous Mistake will help beginning writers gain access to their creative capabilities while serving as a perennial reference that working writers can turn to again and again for inspiration and direction.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii(6)
Introduction xiii
PART I A WRITING "HABIT" 1(32)
EXERCISE: WRITING ZAZEN 3(1)
1. Four Noble Truths for Writers
4(2)
2. Pointing Directly at Your Own Heart, You'll Find Buddha
6(2)
3. Single-Minded Effort
8(3)
4. Grandmother's Fingerpointing
11(5)
5. A Writing "Habit"
16(3)
6. Waves of the Sea Belong to the Sea
19(2)
7. Writing Posture
21(2)
8. The Kiss of the Asp
23(3)
9. The Writer's Middle Way
26(3)
10. Distractions
29(4)
PART II LIKE JESUS, IT'S FROM GOD, AND FROM YOU. 33(36)
EXERCISE: WRITING KINHIN 35(1)
11. Stay-at-Home Days
36(2)
12. Fleeting Thoughts
38(3)
13. Books Read Us
41(2)
14. Reading Supports Writing -- But Watch Out!
43(3)
15. Bleached-Bone Simplicity
46(2)
16. Ode to a Drawer
48(3)
17. The Rubbery Time of Revision
51(2)
18. One Continuous Mistake
53(3)
19. Like Jesus, it's from God. And from You.
56(2)
20. Ping!
58(2)
21. Five Pillars of Writing
60(9)
PART III THE LESSON OF LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD 69(26)
EXERCISE: SNEAKING UP ON YOUR MIND 71(2)
22. Tigers in the Lowland
73(3)
23. Invisible Practice
76(2)
24. The Gentle Cycle
78(4)
25. Writer's Block: The Magic Mountain
82(2)
26. Writer's Anorexia: The Abuse of Creative Power
84(4)
27. The Lesson of Little Red Riding Hood
88(5)
28. Writing Parents
93(2)
PART IV BEAUTY PLUS PITY 95(26)
EXERCISE: WATCHING THE MIND 97(1)
29. If I Think About Myself, Does That Mean I'm Selfish?
98(3)
30. Writer-Jock
101(2)
31. Writing and "Right" Livelihood
103(3)
32. Who Is Writing Better Vedas?
106(2)
33. Ripples on the Surface of the Water
108(3)
34. Art Is Theft, Art Is Armed Robbery, Art Is Not Pleasing Your Mother
111(3)
35. Beauty Plus Pity
114(2)
36. A Button and a Few Bones
116(3)
37. Life Is Not Killed
119(2)
PART V A WORD IS A CHARGED SITUATION 121(28)
EXERCISE: MOT JUSTE 123(1)
38. Huckleberry "K"
124(3)
39. Tibetan English
127(3)
40. The Told Story
130(3)
41. Art for Life's Sake
133(4)
42. The Look of a Voice
137(4)
43. Grasp the Thing, Words Will Follow
141(3)
44. Wild by Law
144(5)
PART VI "NO, NO -- POETRY IS SERIOUS! ZEN IS NOT SERIOUS." 149(28)
EXERCISE: SILENCE IS NOT SILENCE IS NOT SILENCE 151(1)
45. The Gospel According to This Moment
152(3)
46. "Ashes Do Not Come Back to Firewood"
155(2)
47. Lady Murasaki's Insight
157(2)
48. Heron and I
159(3)
49. Lean Words & Quietly
162(4)
50. The Frida Kahlo Principle
166(2)
51. An Angel in the House
168(4)
52. Not Knowing
172(3)
53. One World at a Time
175(2)
APPENDICES 177(22)
A. Guidelines for Beginning Writers of Haiku 179(10)
B. Your Reading Personality 189(4)
C. Your Learning Personality 193(6)
Notes 199(4)
Bibliography 203

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