Write the thing yourself · Mollie McClelland Morris

Write the thing yourself

This is an excerpt from a novella called “Seymour: An introduction” by JD Salinger. This section is a letter from elder (Seymour) to younger brother (Buddy Glass). The full letter is here.

I’m so sure you’ll get asked only two questions. Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. […] Oh, dare to do it, Buddy! Trust your heart. You’re a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you.

You can substitute any creative endeavour for writer. You were a yoga student before your were a teacher (I HOPE!). So connect to the class that you like the most (or would like) as a student, and teach that class. I guarantee you are not alone. What your body loves, other bodies will love (not all, but some). The pace, the energy, the beauty, the unique magic of you (your stars!) if you teach from what you love, others will connect too. And those that don’t are not the student you are meant to have. They will find the teachers that inspire them.

It is so simple, and so magic, write the story you want to read, teach the class you want to take. Be your own guide, trust your own inner critic as a signal of what you love. And then dive into that.

Good luck.