Why work with what fights you?
The Letter The Letter
from Leticia Mooney

Hi lovely one,

In this letter I can reveal that I've finally agreed a cover for Artist in Recovery. The publisher has beautifully styled it, 'a motherhood anecdote'. The cover is not what I had originally pitched them but is much more. Gentle discussion, ideas sharing, and negotiation is to thank for the outcome. As soon as I can show it to you, I will.

That book is one that wanted me to write it. As I wrote it, I sighed over how haphazard it was. That whatever emerged came out whenever it did. It wasn't until I sequenced the first half of the volume that I realised it had a beautiful completeness without me trying to control it. It was the first reminder I'd had in a long time that this art is really just allowing chaos to form itself through the point of the pen I was holding. When the book was accepted, I immediately began the next one. The next one continues the theme but in a very different way.

Poetry might seem odd to you, if you know me as a consultant. Poetry is where I cut my chops, realistically. This is a process of relearning how to allow it. You can form poetry in a similar way to forming prose: You can decide on a trochaic structure. You can decide ahead of time that you'll write tanka. But you still have to allow poetry to flow over your hands and out through your ink. Otherwise it won't sing, the colours will be dull, and you'll feel like you've eaten sand. For many years I fell into the trap of believing that if it's hard, it's the thing you have to do. Fucking bullshit it is. If it's challenging you, it's not in flow; why would you want to work on something that is fighting you? If it's perplexing you, then working to solve the puzzle is growth. (Pushing boulders uphill is for mugs who believe that their strength lies in rising at 4 am, that building unicorns is a life mission, and who brag that their secret to managing an over-full life is Trello, when it's actually their wives. Startup bro culture, anyone?)

Along the way, I've rediscovered Annie Dillard. As I've recently written, Dillard is important enough to me, creatively, to hold an influential position on a vision board. Dillard was the first person who told me that the old trope of 'writing what you know' is also bullshit. She was the one who encouraged me to chase whatever ignites a flame. To write about places I've never been. To recognise unconscious imitation. To become.

The synchrony one discovers when in this space is extraordinary. It's a conversation about those Australian First Nations elders who recognise that families like mine (who have been here for 7+ generations) are also connected to country; that your connection enables you to read her. It's stumbling with absolute innocence into the mission that has been hidden from you for your entire life. It's that artist in your life who shows you that your frustration is a friendly light-bearer, and not an adversary with whom to spar. It's discovering that author's insurance is not only more appropriate to you, but also cheaper!

Meanwhile, my other writing hasn't stopped; latest writings are listed below my signature.

And finally, I want to tell you that I have appointment spaces available for Writer Therapy, Mentoring, Editing, and Life Readings. You'll find details about those here. Reply to this email to book in: All calls take place on Saturdays (0700-1100; 1300-150).

Until next time, may all your days sparkle.

xx Leticia 'writing what comes' Mooney

PS. This is the email version of the print edition of The Letter (which goes out this week). If you'd rather some lovely bits of snail-mail, reply to me and pitch in a little bit of postage coin and I'll switch you over.

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Leticia Mooney
PO Box 1190, Pasadena SA 5042. Australia.
Copyright Leticia Mooney. All rights reserved.