Write write write
|Coelecanth, ink on cardboard, 1/31/16. |
Thought to be extinct for 66 million years,
and then, poof, re-discovered in 1938, hanging out near
a deep ocean cave. Don't let that be you!
Many of us think about writing, and wish we would write. In fact, we're going to, as soon as we get time. And an idea. And a pen, and a bit of privacy, all at the same time. We have better chances of being struck by a meteor than having all of that come together. (Confession: I made that up.)
The biggest problem about writing is all of it. First, getting ass to chair. Then, once you get there, having an idea, and feeling like the time expenditure is worthy, and ignoring the giant and distracting time-suck of the internet, and sticking it out through those first uncomfortable moments where the blank page stares at you, judgingly, and you write your first reluctant words.
But guess what? THE WORLD NEEDS YOU TO WRITE! It sounds cheesy, but it's true. Here’s why: if you slice everything away, and look for the core of what you need in your life, it’s richness and connection. We need the ups, the downs, the intimacy, the boredom, and the excitement that creates the texture that gives our lives meaning. And sharing that truthfully, with vulnerability, connects us.
And here’s why: because you have some experience or information that the world needs.
Instead of letting the moments that comprise our life disappear, or letting our secrets build into paralyzing shame, or letting our joys go uncelebrated, or letting our lives become mundane, we celebrate by writing about all of it. The dark and the light, the things we’re proud of, the things we wish were different. And suddenly, their power is gone, poof, just like that. The thing we struggle with? A million other people struggle with that too, and you just lit a tiny candle on their path. They are not alone, and neither are you. That funny thing that happened to you yesterday? Don't let it disappear like pocket lint. Treat it like a baby.
Week 1 will focus on silencing the inner critic. The biggest obstacle that keeps us from writing is that irritating voice that says, “What could you possibly have to say that's interesting?,” “Is this really the best use of your time?” “You’re not a very good writer!”, and so on. Yes, that voice. We'll gently shush that critic, in the way you would quiet your toddler when it’s just not time for them to talk.
Week 2 will be about sparking creativity. There are times when we feel particularly creative, and times we don’t. We’ll do some playful writing exercises, and identify practices that help us access our creative selves even when the creativity seems so distant from where we are.
Week 3 will be about finding joy. I know, that seems lofty. Like, if I had that, why am I sitting here, drinking a glass of wine alone, writing this silly blog? I don't have the secret, but you do, and it just might involve slowing down, taking the time to write and remember all of the amazing strokes of good fortune that have come your way, and even though terrible or even just boring things happen every day, there’s so much to marvel at.
Week 4 will be a chance to go a little deeper into one piece that you've started during the previous sessions. This will be where you take the baby out of the bunting and dress it up a little bit for the world to enjoy.
The fifth session will be an opportunity to read your work aloud at a private venue with our invited guests.
Natalie Goldberg says, “The deepest secret in our heart of hearts is that we are writing because we love the world.” I’d like to add that sometimes, we love the world because we write. Writing is holding the pretty little marble that is our life up to the light, twirling it around this way and that, falling in love with how it glitters in a certain light, and letting other people see it.
Click here to sign up.
Times: 4-6 on Sunday afternoon for all writing classes; 7-9 for reading
Writing classes will be held at The Yoga Garden in downtown Duvall.