Tiny Writing Windows

Writing

Writing (Photo credit: jjpacres)

 

I have been playing hooky from posting. Deliberately so. There has been an expansion in other areas of my creative and professional life which has accompanied the ebb of blogging. A flow of creativity towards novel writing, setting up a new office space, writing and designing inspirational cards and just generally enjoying the glorious summer, have sprung from this brief break.

 

I took a writing class offered by SARK called Write it Now with SARK (WINS) Just phenomenal. The results with my writing and my life were amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone drawn to pen and paper (or fingers to keys).  The support from the community of fellow writers was wonderful. Plus the fact that you get to ask SARK questions and receive support directly from a pure laser beam of love.

 

I am writing my novel in gathered minutes I gleaned while waiting for my son at the playground or over a morning coffee. So far I have over 3000 words written all from little slivers of time that have become tiny windows into this creative journey I am on with my characters.

 

Lotus HKU 2011

Lotus HKU 2011 (Photo credit: yuen_long)

 

The beauty of stepping back from the daily commitment of blogging has been as wonderful a process as the initial process of writing publicly daily. Ultimately both have been about side-stepping the inner critics which stall the flow of words and creative ideas. This is what I learned:

 

  • Make friends with your inner saboteur;
  • Fall in love with your own words;
  • Open up to the flow of words and let yourself be surprised;
  • Appreciation launches dreams, criticism crushes them;
  • Be unfailingly devoted to the spirit of the work;
  • Be willing to set aside your own need for approval to write that which wishes to be written;
  • Give yourself permission to fail, spectacularly;
  • Every work has an audience, honour your fans by keeping the pen moving;
  • Write from the heart and write often;
  • ¬†Tiny pieces of time are profound moments of writing.

 

Writer’s fuel

 

Body Mind

Body Mind (Photo credit: DanAllison)

 

Words.

 

Words fuel writers.

 

More than that, it is the direction of creative energy through the body mind of the writer to the page (or screen). Writing ‘in the flow’ is a blissful thing. Hooking into this transcendent state is the drug that a writer joneses over when they get ‘blocked’. The process of writing, any kind of writing, is the primer for the pump to get that flow going. Writing keeps you writing.

 

Finding the freedom from having to be perfect or pleasing or any other conformity is a primary process in generating a mind that can plug into this ethereal ‘flow’. Surrendering to the process of writing in its most simple form, pen and paper, and letting go of everything else can open you and sweep you toward the page, now filled, with juicy sentences and luscious paragraphs.

 

The Writer’s Midwife – A transformational workshop

20120323-022657.jpg

I have been so fortunate to have two wonderful friends who are incredibly talented writers. Not only are they writers, but they are also teachers, and good ones too. Samantha and Marsha are a powerful daughter/mother team who will kick your butt (with love).

They are all kinds of good for your writing life. They have a perfect blend of support and safety for your fledgling first drafts and persistent encouragement to stretch you outside your comfort zone. In their writing workshop, you will be held accountable to your dreams. You will learn scores of tips, tools and tricks to stomp your inner critic and nourish your inner ally. At the same time, you have never met two nicer people. They really understand how nerve-wracking it can be to share your writing, so they specifically set the tone of their writing groups to be inclusive and safe.

I know because I have had the immense pleasure of being in their writer’s group since September. In that time my writing has blossomed. More importantly, I have developed a strong persistence and discipline with my writing. Before I joined the writing group, I would write whenever I felt like it, maybe once every couple of months. Now I write everyday, no exceptions.

What I love most about the group is how free I feel in sharing anything I write. First draft or final work, the comments are supportive and encouraging. Help and critical feedback are only offered if I ask for it (which I generally don’t), but it is nice to know that a careful eye is available to edit if need be.

Like I said, I am fortunate.

Samantha and Marsha’s upcoming writing workshop “Skin and Stories” starts April 16th at Pages Bookstore in Calgary. For a measly $150, you can invest in your creative dreams and get motivated to finally write that novel you have been thinking about for the past twenty years. Be warned! Writing is fun, addictive, and powerfully life-changing. This workshop will fill up fast, signup buttercup!

Just Keep Writing, writing, writing, writing!

Keyboard

Image by ericnvntr via Flickr

I’ve been writing everyday since early October as part of the 2011 Post a Day Challenge. I love it. It is a challenge to my writing muscles and to my ego. I’m now convinced that a regular commitment to writing is the antidote to any form of writer’s block.

I’ve been through writer’s block before, while writing my master’s thesis. I clearly recall the clenching rush of panic that would sweep through me every time I approached the computer. Then, I was paralyzed by the thought of the thesis defense. Truly, criticism is the great slayer of the creative impulse. I got through it then by making a commitment to show up at the keyboard and solely focus on one sentence at a time. The 2011 Post a Day Challenge feels very similar to me.

It has the same familiar wrestle when I sit to write. The inner critic peers over my shoulder and suggests that I have nothing to write about. But everyday I have something to share, so everyday the inner critic gets quieter. So the more I write, the easier it gets. I find it frees up space in my mind, it quiets worries and tames the ego.

I have been given a great reminder that to be a writer you must write. Not just once in a while, but everyday, like breathing. I created this blog as a place to freely write without trying to get it perfect, or limit myself in anyway. It creates a safe haven for my fledgling creative impulses.

I suggest this to any other writers out there.

  1. Create a cosy venue for your writing where you are not restricted by the annoying taunts of your inner critic. Think of it as safe space where the normal rules don’t apply to you.
  2. Write from your heart. Don’t delete anything. Keep moving forward.
  3. Write something everyday. (As my husband put it “SEO’s don’t care what you write. You could write ‘Fart. Fart. Fart.’ and it would increase your visibility”)
  4. Give yourself praise for the act of writing, not for how good you think it is. I like to read my posts again after they are published. I also get a little thrill out of the feeling of being a member of the postaday2011 tag. You could also find some gold stars and reward your inner kindergartener.
  5. Editing is dead last. Leave it alone. There is a reason why every major writer has an editor who is a whole separate human being. Creating and editing are two completely different skills. Think of it as adding the ice cream to your pie before you bake it; it makes a giant mess. Seriously, don’t edit till the end.
  6. Enjoy the process and hang on for the ride!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: