EVERY TWO WEEKS, I send out a writing tip and three soul-inviting prompts as inspiration for you to freewrite, either alone with your timer or in a gathering of writer friends. The resulting deep play opens up whole new landscapes of creative possibility for our writing and our lives. If you are new to this kind of writing practice, have a look at the freewriting principles. And to take your writing to the next level, check out the mentoring sessions I offer, which are helpful whether you are working on a book or just beginning to find your voice. [read more]
Much of the deeper meaning of our work comes in through the details, but most people tend to think in generalities, and these often show up in a freewrite. We might say “tree” when it was actually a cedar, willow or birch. Or we might say “insect” when it was a dragonfly, black ant or black widow spider. Keep this in mind as you write, and after you finish, go through and look for the places where you used a generality and reflect on which specific word would bring more clarity and vividness. This is not to say that generalities are wrong — only that their use is often unconscious, and this is a way of bringing mindfulness to your use of language so that you have a choice rather than limiting your expression by acting out of habit.
Join me for an 8-week dive into writing as a spiritual practice. Whether you’re working on a book or you want to integrate writing as a personal practice, you’ll get what you need to establish a nourishing habit of writing. We’ll meet every other week and you’ll have a writing partner to meet with by phone on the off weeks. Begins January 26. get the details
For a writer, whatever happens is raw material. This includes all pains and pleasures, humiliations and triumphs, sensitivities and strengths. To include it all is to embrace our lives and the lives of all humans as they really are rather than only as we would like them to be. What could be more useful to those who read our work than to show them the way to self-embrace, as we show ourselves that same way? We can show in our stories and essays and poems (and emails!) what alchemy can be done by the human heart, creating empathy from our difficulties and misfortunes, creating depth and soul from what could otherwise crush or depress us. Working from this premise, we shape our art from the rawness of our experience and contribute to the flowering of our own heart and the hearts of others.
Join me for Writing as a Spiritual Practice, a one-day retreat combining writing with meditation. We’ll alternate writing, meditating and reading aloud in a circle free of criticism and judgment, delving into the silence that produces fresh words and insights. November 25 at Sukhasiddhi Foundation, a Buddhist center in Fairfax. Details