I’ve been reading Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write for about a month now. It’s a collection of essays and assignments designed to coax a person out of their excuses and into the writing life. It’s quite excellent. Cameron is probably better known for The Artists Way, which covers similar ground.
One chapter that spoke to me particularly was about keeping the drama on the page. Don’t get me wrong. The real dramatic events that we find ourselves in can sometimes be fuel for creative work. I’m talking watershed events here. But the everyday drama that we can get sucked into so easily, the manufactured drama that invades our lives when they get too boring–that’s a muse-killer.
Cameron gives the example of two of her friends who were in a horrible fight, and trying to get her involved and taking sides. It would have been easy to do so, but it would have sucked the energy and creativity that she could have been giving her writing into a situation that really, she didn’t have much business being in.
There are a lot of avoidable dramas in life, and avoiding them has lots of spiritual and practical benefits. One of them is, it frees up creative energy that you can apply towards writing. Also, from your detached perspective, you can sometimes transcribe the drama of others to the page, and in so doing, get a clearer and more meaningful view of it.