Merle’s Messy Method: Writing

There is an inner writing-voice in each of us. It is often cramped and uncertain of itself. Merle’s Messy Method is a simple and easy way to help you free this voice and in so doing, connect to the truth of who you are.
It will help you to let go of the critic that wants to sit on your shoulder and judge every word you write. It will help you to be adventurous and take the dirt roads that run alongside the highways of routine thinking. This method says: feel free to write fiction even if you are writing facts. In other words, don’t be limited by what you remember to be true.
Annie Lamott says “Write a shitty first draft”. You can always edit and clean up later. This messy stage is pure puddles and mud pies. It’s where you activate your earliest, most curious and creative mind.
So here goes, take a pen, a deep breath, and bunjee jump into the endless wilds of your imagination…

It consists of 4 easy steps that will help you relax your critical mind and allow it to open up to creative thoughts.  I call it messy, because that is the connection to the creative mind of a child, filled with curiosity and wonder.  The steps are easy to follow, fun and give permission.  Many students I have taught over the years have gone on to write amazing things, using this simple sytem to unlock the creative urge to express oneself through writing.

4 simple steps
  • Fishing - Imagine you are a fisherman, it’s pre-dawn, the waters are still. There is the sense of peace and connection all around you. Cast your rod into the water, be still and listen. The first thing that nibbles at the end of the rod, is the topic you begin writing about. Like a fisherman, you have no control over what bites! It may be a boot or a minnow or a whale. Don’t judge, just write.
  • Flying - Imagine you have wings. Let them open up to catch the current. Just keep writing - don’t try too hard, don’t force, there is no need to correct or change anything. Be the writer, not the reader. If you have nothing to write about, write about that feeling and see where it opens up.
  • Feelings - Breathe. There is no rush, no destination to get to in a hurry. What does it feel like to be here in this place? Invent words, paint the clouds purple. These yum yum, sensuous details are what gives your writing energy and verve.
  • Fear-wards - You are happily writing along when suddenly there comes someone or something you really don’t feel like writing about – not now, not today, not ever! Take courage and go into the fear. Ask for help. Call in your ancestors, your teachers, anyone who inspires you. Be honest, face the fear and just write it! There is often great energy locked up in these pockets of resistance.

This 4-step method for creative writing, was developed by Merle Levin, based on the work of Canadian authors W.O Mitchell and Barbara Turner-Vesselago. She has taught this method to thousands of students across the globe for more than 20 years, many of whom have gone on to publish their work or win writing competitions.

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Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
William Wordsworth