July 27, 2011

On Emptiness, Part Five: Freedom

Posted in Emptiness tagged , , at 3:46 am by Rebecca Hein

The best part about my cello playing right now is the absolute freedom of my approach. For months I’ve been totally absorbed in beautiful, easy folk songs. Unable to make myself play anything else, I revel in the relaxation and emotional fulfillment of these haunting melodies. Feeling no pressure to work on harder music, I’m released from all expectation.

This has transferred to my writing. Practice writing has never been more enjoyable because, having discovered such beauty in my musical life, I know I’ll find it in writing too. In practice writing I wait for it while pouring out the words, in the same way I open myself to good tone while pouring out the notes. I expect nothing, and in this freedom, I often get much more than I would have if I’d been trying for it.

July 21, 2011

On Emptiness, Part Four: Releasing the Unconscious

Posted in Emptiness tagged , , at 6:01 am by Rebecca Hein

Dorothea Brande observes, “The Unconscious must flow freely and richly, bringing at demand all the treasures of memory, all the emotions…which it has stored away in its depths…” The key is how to tap in to that free, rich flow.

It happens best when left alone, and what better way to let it happen than in your freewriting? When our words, expectations, and results are empty, our conscious mind is less busy or, in lucky moments, actually empty. Then we are being, not doing, and this opens the door to our best ideas.

July 13, 2011

On Emptiness, Part Three: Enjoyment

Posted in Emptiness tagged , at 3:59 pm by Rebecca Hein

In writing, as in music, it’s essential that we put hard work aside sometimes and just enjoy the ability we’ve gained. Yet this isn’t possible unless we set it up deliberately because, if we’re serious about improving, we always work hard.

Freewriting, like my unstructured cello practice, provides this opportunity. In pushing aside all the rules, you liberate yourself, and your creativity will respond to this gentle treatment.

July 8, 2011

On Emptiness, Part Two: Efficiency

Posted in Emptiness tagged , , at 6:21 am by Rebecca Hein

In how many situations does experience perfectly match expectation? This is the value of freewriting. Expecting nothing, we then get nothing, and in this harmony we achieve 100 percent efficiency of effort. Our result matches our purpose exactly.

By contrast, in real writing there will always be a disparity between what we hope to achieve and actual results. No matter how small this gap, we feel somewhat discontented or disappointed. This tension is completely absent in freewriting, and since we can’t live in tension all the time, we need to cultivate this habit of freedom in our writing.