What Bear Can Teach Us About Writing

Jul 03, 2020

I recently moved to bear country. I am living in a forested hill area that is covered by an umbrella of cedar trees and Douglas firs. The forest floor is carpeted in moss and the low growth of ferns. This is the type of country black bears love the most.

They evolved during a time when grizzly bears dominated the open spaces, so the smaller black bears stayed in the relative safety of the hills.

Because I have entered their home, I have been learning about this species, about both their biology and their metaphorical wisdom.

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My husband likes to remind me of the dangers of anthropomorphizing, but as a reader, writer, and lover of archetypes I find myself delving into symbols with wild abandon. It is how I learn, how I grow, and how I see the world. It is my wildly authentic perception.

With bears on my mind, I have been pulling bear oracle cards and reading about bears in Sarah Seidelmann's Book of Beasties. Today, I want to share my favorite bit of wisdom I have come across, as it speaks directly to the work we are doing here: the work of coming out of creative hibernation, starting to write, and claiming our authentic creative flow.

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This wisdom comes from the Bear card in Kim Krans's Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle Card Deck, and here is what it says:

"After a long winter, the Bear arises from deep slumber. At first the movement and effort are difficult, but the Bear knows it’s time to awaken and move toward the dawning light…Winter wanes, the warmth of spring emerges, and your transformation begins.” - Kim Krans

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The Bear awakening is just like our experience when we have hibernated from our own creative flow. When we begin to create again, it can feel just like this. The movement and effort are difficult. Things move slowly. You dust off your pen and paper, but the flow of words just trickles out at first.

However, you know when it’s your time. You know the call, and you write anyway. Yes, it might be difficult at first, but your transformation is here. Winter wanes. The spring of your creativity approaches.

Let it be slow at first. That’s ok. As you continue you will find the flow of your creativity becomes easier, as you write and write and write. The trick is to not give up as you move through the slow part, so you can get to the luscious reward of your creative flow.

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Just as the bear takes one step at a time out of her cave, you can write one word a time out of the hibernation of your creative life.

Love,

Emma

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