In my work with writers I give a lot of attention to the writer’s life and the writing experience. When we set up the conditions for a writer’s life, we will write. When we write, our writing will naturally improve. Our voices will emerge from the words; our ideas will move along the page; we will discover ourselves, our stories and what is meaningful to us. When we cultivate a writer’s life, –– blogs, articles, poems, and books will emerge from our busy lives.
We will flourish as writers.
Creating the conditions and cultivating the writer’s life means to give writing internal and external spaces to emerge. I am down to 113 emails in my in-box. This is down from nearly 1,000. I am determined to get down to 20 and have no more than 20 a day in my in-box that need my attention. The stress and distraction of so many emails restrict my writing time and energy. Creating the conditions for a writer’s life means to declutter and simplify our life so that we can, with more ease, write. Creating the conditions includes gathering together with other writers, setting aside time to write, having a place to write, and reading. What else? What cultivates the writer’s life for you? Do you need to drink less alcohol, or watch less television (or tweet less)?
Last night someone shared that when they mention they are a writer, or are writing a book, others' eyes glaze over. Who isn’t writing a book, there look suggests. I recommend that we get more specific in our spoken and written word. So, when you mention you are a writer – name specifically what you are writing about! Say for example, I am writing a memoir on all the men I have left, versus, I am writing a book. In the written word, instead of mentioning a tree – identify what kind of tree. She sat by a tree. She rested against a Willow tree. Be descriptive with details. This cultivates a more disciplined writing and an invitation for your friends and readers to come closer in to you and your writing. An invitation to a party is one thing; an invitation to a pig roast is another.
A disciplined approach to writing emerges from cultivating a writer’s life. Through our discoveries and results of creating conditions of a writer’s life a discipline naturally emerges. This discipline is quite different than our forcing ourselves to write. A simple analogy is gardening – we have to create the conditions for our vegetables and flowers to grow. We have to weed the garden enough to allow the space for our vegetables and flowers to flourish. We want to enjoy the fruits of our labor, so the discipline comes natural to us. The plants do the rest without much effort on our part. The discipline comes in making room for your creative life.
I promise that if you cultivate the conditions of a writer’s life, you will write. This will take some soul searching and likely, cleaning out your in-box.
JOIN ME in these opportunities:
JOIN me and other writers for November’s FREE WRITING RETREAT on FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30th 10 until 4:00. Please email me with an intention to attend. We gather to write, share in a lunch, write some more, then in closing we hold a sharing circle.
EVERY FRIDAY MORNINGfrom 10 till 2:00 I will be writing at Sjolinds in Mount Horeb.
Let me help you share your stories––8 Weeks with Your Memoir. Begins this MAY 2nd and goes through June 20th. Thursday evenings, from 5:30 till 8:30!! Limited to 6 dedicated writers. Process includes writing prompts, instruction, guidance, consultation, and support. Once the series is completed, you can send me up to 20 pages of your work for in-depth critique (by August 1st). Email me for more details and to register! firstname.lastname@example.org
“You can’t just come out and say what you have to say. That’s what people do on airplanes, when a man plops down next to you in the aisle seat of your flight to New York, spills peanuts all over the place (back when the cheapskate airlines at least gave you peanuts), and tells you about what his boss did to him the day before. You know how your eyes glaze over when you hear a story like that? That’s because of the way he’s telling his story. You need a good way to tell your story.”
― Adair Lara, Naked, Drunk and Writing
8 Weeks with Your Memoir will be invigorating and personal. You will leave with the tools to transform your writing into something good and meaningful to your readers. Good memoir reads like a novel you can’t put down. Only better because the story is true. I will be working close-in with your stories to help you develop your narrative and to bring out your unique voice. Your investment is $375.00.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better. “~Anne Lamott
“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction. “~William Zinsser