The following Writing for Resilience workshop, co-facilitated with my friend and colleague, Kate Thompson, offers a three-part writing exercise to help build resilience in challenging times.
“I published my first novel, The Boy Who Couldn’t Fly Straight, three years ago via Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), as a digital book. All books I read these days are in digital format, since I travel a lot for work and appreciate the ease of downloading and transporting. It just made sense to publish the novel as an e-book.
There is a difference between trying to be original and allowing ourselves to be authentic.
In Leslie Keenan’s clarifying, You Can Complete That Book, she offers five danger signs that the critic is in charge. She is speaking here to writers who are fairly far along in their process and are beginning to look ahead to having a completed work. As she writes, “let’s investigate how you can tell whether this voice is the critic or your editing self. How can you recognize which voice it is?
Okay, we’ve all heard the bad news about New Year Resolutions. We don’t keep to them, they make us feel bad about ourselves, they’re a waste of time. So now let’s look at some reasons New Year’s Resolutions might be a boon to the writer. Here are five of them.
Truth is, it really helps to have a few things down, before you head for the hills, or some quite pasture, to write your book.
And by the way, when I talk about a “writing retreat” here, I’m not talking about a writing class or a facilitated writing retreat–but a solo writing retreat, which is the writer’s own kind of trial by fire or vision quest. In other words, it’s you, the page, and your mind. And you will be tested.
So how do you know if you’re ready?
Some responded to the question with “action” lists like: putting my butt in the chair; making time to write; setting my alarm clock earlier. This kind of list reflects the practicalities and realities of writing. The need to make time and space for it. And certainly, without doing those things, the writing won’t get done. So we have to be responsible for creating a context in which the work can happen.
Twenty minutes is a sufficient length of time to do quite a bit of writing. And yet, it’s not too long that you start to get anxious and call up the inner critic. Best of all, if you find yourself in the flow, you can set the timer for another twenty.
Have you ever heard the aphorism, “What you resist, persists”? Truth is, when we suffer from writer’s block––that tendency to do absolutely anything rather than face the terror of the blank page––we often berate ourselves. We don’t like the feeling of being blocked. It makes us feel inadequate, not worthy, and untalented. It often triggers…
Writing without duende is like food without flavor. It may fill the pages, but it won’t satisfy the soul. Duende is a wonderful word. Loosely, it means to have soul. When our writing flows from a deep, authentic place it tends to have duende. We can feel it, and our readers do as well. They…