John Lee tells us in Writing from the Body that our throats can bottle up what we want to say in our writing. He has an exercise he suggests to clear our throats, so they are not “knotted with unspoken dreams and uncried tears.”

Yell and shout from deep in your belly into a pillow, Lee says, sending all that blocked energy out of your throat. After you rest your voice an hour, you’ll notice your voice has dropped a register.

He says by repeating this exercise you can clear the unspoken words from your throat and find your voice and writing are both deeper, and with more power. It reminds me of the mornings after I’ve been to a great game, basketball or baseball, shouting out loud among a crowd for several hours. I interview people the next day and tape the conversations, then play them back later and notice how much deeper my voice has gone. And yes, so goes the writing for that day.

Lee adds that “our greater voice in writing occurs naturally, when we are off guard, writing with a certain simplicity of mind.” That’s what we work to create in our meetings at the Writer’s Workshop, using our AWA exercises to switch off the left brain and get to the heart of the words we were born to voice.

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