Dancing on Spec

What does it take to dance?

Maybe the same things it takes to write.

Julia Cameron says she writes on spec. In other words, she doesn't need a guarantee that her writing will "go anywhere." She gives herself permission to simply write for the joy of it. When counseling a writing friend who is afraid of looking foolish, she reminds, "All we need is the courage to do the next right thing."

I have been thinking about this before Julia said it. I have been thinking about what it takes to play piano, study French, dance ballet. All these things have required permission from me. Permission to do one thing at a time. One more scale under my fingers, one more foreign phrase, and now one more pointed toe.

To the fearful writer friend, Julia also says, "Don't worry about being new. Worry about being human."


Don't worry about being Chopin, worry about feeling the notes. Don't worry about working as a translator, worry about the way French caresses the heart. Don't worry about being Nutcracker material (slim, graceful, strong), just worry about embracing the surprise of movement.

Go ahead, I hear Julia say. Play, speak, dance on spec. The delight is yours.

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Anonymous Maureen said...

The best reasons in the world for being a Renaissance Woman.

Blogger Kelly Langner Sauer said...

this is how I write, and this is how I have been learning to take pictures. perfect.

Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

as is making love, cooking pretty food, making whimsical gardens........letting it happen...... amen and amen. :)

Blogger S. Etole said...

thank you for this ... for giving permission to enjoy the journey

Blogger ~Stacy said...

Thank you for this advice and encouragement! Perspective... :)


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