In chapter five of her book “The Healing Power of the Writing Process” DeSalvo writes about how studying Japanese ideas about writing gave her another vision of creativity, different from the ones dominating in the West. By studying Japanese aesthetics, says DeSalvo, I learned that writing could become a normal, natural, and even joyful part of my life – rather than something difficult, esoteric, and painful (as promoted by a canonical theorist like Harold Bloom).
Though one never masters the process (of writing), even in a lifetime of work, the process in itself is simple:
We devote some time regularly (every day) to the process of writing… We write – not to create works of art – but to build character, develop integrity, judgement, balance, order, restraint, and other valued inner attributes.
Through writing, we develop self-mastery, which contributes to our emotional and spiritual growth. Writing, then, becomes the teacher.
It is not what you write or what you produce as you write that is important. It is what happens to you while you are writing that is important. It is who you become while you are writing that is important.
This is an image of what a typical day in DeSlavo’s writing-life might look like:
Writing as a Way of Healing p. 76