The right to write

After I dropped off my kids at Macalester College for their Chinese School in the afternoon, I headed to the Half Price Books store on Ford Parkway in St. Paul. There I came across the book by Julia Cameron: The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life.  

Julia is the author who wrote The Artist’s Way that I mentioned in a previous blog posting.

I read part of the book right there.

The book consists of over 40 personal essays on various topics of writing. Each topic begins with an "invitation" and concludes with a tool or exercise.

One of the exercises I like is to write down 50 things you are proud of about yourself. What does this list tell you about the things you value the most?

Later at home, I tried to do this exercise. It’s not hard for me, but it’s not easy either. I don’t have any problem to start, but I haven’t finished listing all 50 things yet. 

Some of the things I came up with that I am proud of about myself include: 

Even though English is not my native language. I have become good at it. 

I wrote a weekly column for Woodbury Bulletin for three years. 

I have been writing this blog since November 2009 and have not missed a day. 

I have raised two kids who love reading. 

I encouraged my daughter to submit her poems to the Minnesota State Fair and she won the first place. 

From this short list one can easily tell what I value most. 

I think this is an excellent exercise that everyone should take some time to do it. What things are you proud of yourself for? 

In Cameron’s mind, people who like writing are the luckiest people in the world. In this sense, I consider myself one of the luckiest people. 

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