August 11, 2013

A Manifesto for Living a Life Worth Writing About. ~ Sarah McMurray

Photo: Sarah McMurray

Make love to life.

Seduce each day with your best.

Use the good china for dinner on Monday. Eat by candlelight even when you are alone.

Take yourself on a date and get dressed up. Do the unmentionable—take a belly dancing or pole dancing class and grind your body to the rhythm.


Do not allow yourself to go home immediately after work. Take a new route; cozy up to the bar and talk to strangers—they have beautiful stories to tell.

Go to the coffee shop without your laptop and make eyes at the cutest man in the room.

Do the things that are out of your comfort zone.

Take a lover and let him guide you. Take another and dominate him.

Know when to say no and when to say yes—when to be bold and when to retreat into the solitude of your own mind.

Ponder the universe and trust the world is ultimately good.

Question how your life and your stories have shaped you; rewrite the negative impact of events into learning and plot twists for your writing.

Travel: to foreign places, to hole in the wall cafes, to the neighborhood you grew up in, to the depth of your heart and stay awhile. Learn what you can from difference, perspective and from hope.

Carry the lessons you learn with you—always evolving, dancing, merging and transforming. It’s okay to say you were wrong. It’s okay to admit defeat. To come home after a hard day and not have the energy for wild adventures; to snuggle with your cat and watch “Friends” re-runs and eat ice cream.

It’s okay to love your body the way it is, to flaunt it and to swing your hips.

Flirt: with the cute man at the park, the baby at the farmers market and most of all, with yourself.

Do not take yourself too seriously. Laugh loudly and snort with pride. Own your greatness and your mistakes.

Go to writing circles, poetry slams and book signings. Listen deeply. Take in the way sentences move and dance, the way voices sound and the punctuation that comes from reading out loud versus in your head.

Then write.

Take the stories and experiences you have accumulated and write. Write quickly; get the words out and then share them. Don’t edit yet, just let the words spill from your fingertips like honey across the page and then massage it later into a final draft. Great writing comes from great lives, fresh experiences and the courage to live beyond your comfort zone.

Don’t worry.

Your grandchildren will love the story about your first tattoo and your neighbor will secretly think it’s cool that you’re not just the nice girl next door when they stumble across your latest work. Who knows, maybe you’ll see them sharing stories with strangers on park benches next week?

Inspire excellent living and the writing will flow.

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Assistant Ed.: Stephanie Sefton/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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