Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature
by Tina Welling

New World Library, 2014. ISBN 978-1-608-68286-7.
Reviewed by Dawn Wink
Posted on 10/05/2014

Nonfiction: Creative Life; Nonfiction: Nature/Place/Environment

Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature begins with a poetic description of the sudden illumination of a dew-beaded spider web. "One moment, the dead tree was notable only for its shapely flare... The next moment, it was aflame with stars." This moment highlights the interconnectedness between earth's creative energy and personal creative energy.

Author Tina Welling shares her journey and the specific steps she took to bring her creative rhythm into alignment with the rhythms of nature. Professional writers will gain insights on creativity and craft from Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature, as will private journal keepers and others who wish for "a stronger relationship with wildness."

Welling details the three-step foundation of a process she refers to as a Spirit Walk: name, describe, and interact. This process so intrigued me that I set out to thread the steps into my own writing life. My runs along dirt trails through the desert took on new meaning, as did simply watching the clouds during half time of my son's soccer games. I carried a small notebook with me, with Name, Describe, and Interact scribbled on its cover. I experienced the shift Welling describes: the once mundane and daily taking on richness in detail. My awareness heightened, my writing deepened, my sense of connection with the world and my writing expanded.

Welling addresses the assumption that writers somehow have more time to write than anybody else. It is not that writers have fewer obligations, less demands, and more time. It is that writers make decisions to write, often difficult decisions. "As writers, we choose a particular way of life. It is our business to see what others may miss; we see life as an exciting wilderness of connections, and we make it our work to discover these connections, mark the path through them, and pass the information on to others...Yet it is uncomfortable at times."

Welling proves a wise companion and steady guide through this wilderness of connections, for all of their beauty and discomfort. She does not shy away from the human dynamics of a writing life, in family, work, and the world. Whether one is a writer, a journal keeper, or one who wants to experience life on a deeper level through writing, this book will open worlds of wonder. Grab your notebook. Try it.

Tina Welling describes her writing life, "If anything defines my life it is the intention to become fully aware and participating in the exchange of creative energy all about me. That includes writing, of course, but also includes my relationships, the outdoors, and spiritual practice." She is the author of Cowboys Never Cry, Fairy Tale Blues, and Crybaby Ranch. Welling lives in Jackson Hole, WY. Visit her website.

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