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On Being Ordinary

Sunday, January 29, 2012

[Raindrops on my window, taken December 2011]

In Old Friend from Far Away, Natalie Goldberg talks about the worth of ordinary lives. How we don't have to be special and exciting people with extraordinary habits in order to write something of value. And, as usual, she says these things in a way that makes me subconsciously reach for a notebook and get started again with renewed hope.

"We need you--the ones who had a cough and your mother or grandfather was there to administer the syrup...

The important thing is to go below the cliches to touch the texture of your experience. Your mind is hungry to be alive. You give us that gift by laying down your true mind on the page. We read it and you open up fields of our own imagination." (OFFA, 121).

I'm only twenty-three years old, but I'm afraid of the dark. I love to read. I drink too much coffee. I do not skydive, have an exciting job, or make very much money. But I do have dreams and a lot of thoughts. These things are worth writing.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love the quote and this whole idea that ordinary can be extraordinary, too. So true. Happy Sunday!

  2. I appreciate being ordinary :)

  3. girlll, you keep writing like that last paragraph and you will do just fine. write away.

  4. Natalie Goldberg is one of my favorite writing mentors. Are you also a fan of Anne Lamott? If not, you will be.. start with Bird by Bird. Xo Jenna

  5. Being ordinary is what makes someone capable of being extraordinary. ;)

  6. Love it, I'm the same! I live overseas which is fun, but my life is still normal! I do have big dreams & thoughts! Love this simple but great post!

  7. Amen! I struggle with this sometimes. I'm a homebody who prefers simple experiences to adrenaline-pumping ones, and yet, I'm a writer. I think the most valuable parts of people's writing is how they experience the world, not necessarily what of the world they experience. If that makes sense.



  8. Such a lovely reminder, thank you!


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