You don’t need a critic to make your writing great. Criticism can hinder the creative process. We are afraid of being criticized and when this fear gets realized, we shut down. Instead what writers need is encouragement; a place that invites exploration. In my writing circles we don’t critique each other’s work; instead we listen for what we want more of and what resonates with us as readers. As long as you keep writing and reading, your writing will improve.
You don’t need to force anything. Instead let the discipline of showing up to the page allow for what is already there to emerge. Let the blessings of uncertainty give you the permission and courage to write forward into the Unknown. Forget yourself and write.
“Self-forgetful concentration is precisely what happens in the artistic process–an absorption in the moment, a pouring of the self into the now.” The Art of Description by Mark Doty
You are a writer not an editor. Don’t edit your writing (ever) – focus on sharing your story, develop that beautiful sentence like an artist that brings out the details on their canvas. Listen for where the comma may go, and drop the rules.
Stop talking about what you want to write or are going to write about and write. Take notes. Write each day in your journal. Get the whole story or scene down before you mention it to anyone. Get in the habit of writing your life down. There is too much talk in the world anyway.
Write from your body. Listen from the body. Don’t write (or live) in your head.
Trust. Trust yourself as you write. Trust the reader as you write. Trust your intuition, your memory, your experience, your take on things. Listen and follow this trust to your death.
“One purpose of writing—its central purpose—is to offer your testimony About the character of existence at this moment. It will be part of your job to say how things are, To attest to life as it is. This will feel strange at first. You’ll wonder whether you’re allowed to say things that sound Not merely observant but true, And not only true in carefully framed, limited circumstances, But true for all of us and, perhaps, for all time. Who asked you to say how things are? Where do you get the authority to do any of this? The answer is yours to find.”
― Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing
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Mind•Body•Word: 3 Days of Yoga & Writing at Holy Wisdom Monastery YOGA & Writing Retreat this August, 2019. August 27, 28, and 29. Explore True Self on the mat and page with yoga teacher (and blogger) Molly Chanson and Writing Sherpa and counselor, Julie Tallard Johnson Three days of attending to mind, body and word in a beautiful, natural setting. Includes meals, writing prompts, retreat time, time to write, yoga for any level, inspiration. $150.00 To register contact: Molly Chanson at firstname.lastname@example.org. 773-259-1202
Monthly Transformative Circle: The Red Thread: Touching Reality in our Everyday Lives at Healing Services on the River in Prairie Du Sac, WI Meets monthly on the 2nd THURSDAY evening of each month, 6 to 9 pm starts AUGUST, 2019. Gather together with others once a month for a year to explore what is truly meaningful and possible for you. We will use two of my books: The The Zero Point Agreement: How To Be Who You Already Are, along with, The Red Thread: Touching Reality in our Everyday Lives through Contemplation and Action. THE RED THREAD BOOK's publication date: April 2020! The Red Thread book and circles are based on the core teachings and Circles of Trust by Parker J Palmer. Connect more strongly to what matters to you. This is my 3rd decade of offering such circles. This circle is open to 11 participants. Learn more and sign up.
LAUNCHING NEW ON-LINE COURSE: (How to) BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR LIFE (rather than the effect). Starts Friday June 14th. Take any time, and at your own pace. This course is an invitation to increase your authenticity through strengthening your personal boundaries and developing your courage. There is so much that hinders us in accessing our inner truth, trusting our experience, and living freely. How to BE THE CAUSE OF YOUR LIFE series is a way to ignite or reignite your truest, most authentic self. The course gives you simple means to be yourself, to be the cause of your life. This course is a means to develop and trust your intuition, your inner-knowing. Where all lessons are simple, they are also quite profound in their transformative abilities. You will awaken more to yourself, your confidence and your knowingness through the application of these lessons. You will know what is yours to deal with and what is not yours. We start with a free-20 minute phone consultation. Learn more and sign up.
All Write Wednesdays: World into Word
All Write Wednesdays is a blog about living the writer's life. Everything in our lives is material. Read all of the All Write Wednesdays posts.
Zero Point Blog
The Zero Point blog shares my teachings about living your life from the inside out and becoming the cause rather than the effect of your life. Read all of the Zero Point posts.
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Julie lives in Mount Horeb WI where she walks her dogs through Stewart Park, gardens her corner lot, attends yoga at Perennial Yoga in Fitchburg and waits for spring 11 months of the year. She is author of The Zero Point Agreement & ten other books. She also writes for the local Mount Horeb paper and in her free time listens in on others' conversations at Sjolinds.