the literary life 11/16/09
Can you be indecisive? I'm usually quick at making everyday decisions like, what will I wear today--or what will I have from breakfast? However, when it comes to the big things, like should I write a memoir, I'm really slow at making decisions and often get indecisive. I get bogged down by thinking--sometimes stuck in thinking. Anyway, I came across Judith Orloff's website recently. She's a medical doctor and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA. Her book, Intuitive Healing, is one I read several years ago and found extremely helpful. Her website has links to several youtube videos with excerpts of her lectures. Here's a link to one video entitled How to Listen to Your Body: Intuitive Decision Making. It's about ten minutes long. If you're struggling with a writing, career, or personal decision, this video might help you consider another way of approaching the issue that's connected to healing: http://www.drjudithorloff.com/lecture-schedule.htm
On a side note: I like that Orloff emphasizes the body's intelligence. For me, creativity is rooted in the body and writing is a physical act. I have to write poems by hand, for instance. I can't write them directly on the computer. My body seems to shut down. Then the decisions I make while I write seem less natural and more intentional. I also find the writing process less cathartic, and one of the reasons I write is for emotional release. Later, I can sculpt out the art of my piece. The first draft has to be visceral. I feel I write the truth better when I write by hand. A few years ago, I attempted writing a novel. Looking back, this piece of writing lacked something authentic. I wrote the whole thing on the computer. If I decided to try writing a novel again, I'd begin writing by hand--honor the body in the process of creation. Punching keys on a keyboard isn't the same (it's great for revision though--for the rethinking).