I’m committed. To writing #my500words a day. For 31 days. I started a few days ago but was feeling waffly. Therefore, I’ve re-committed.
Why am I doing it?
Mainly, to develop a habit. I have it on my calendar to remind me in the morning. It’s almost 8 pm but I still had to do this because it was weighing on my mind. I’d prefer to do it early in the morning or earlier in the day. But I’m doing it now because, as I said, it’s on my mind and I’ve committed to developing a writing practice.
What will I write?
I can free write, use prompts, do business writing, blog posts, work on my book. I had to go back and change “a” to “my” in front of the word book. I’ve been thinking about it and writing it and now I’m announcing it out loud. Yes,I'm writing a book. I will refrain from talking about it at the moment. My goal is to solidify a writing habit that will power the completion of my book. What I won’t do as part of this challenge is to use the 500 words in my journal. That is separate and apart from this.
When will I write?
I want to write but I just don’t know where to start.
Yeah, I’ve heard that one a lot. In fact, I heard it from me first.
Writing a blog, or an essay, a web page, an article – these things begin with a purpose. This is not to minimize the effort that goes into this work. But having a topic, a destination, a slot waiting for the finished product makes it just the tiniest bit easier to get started.
When you want to start writing just for the sake of writing, to explore your voice, to explore the wonder and craft of the written word, well, that feels quite different. You may think you need to know what you’ll write about before you start. There may be a very utilitarian part of you that demands to know what you’ll do with the piece of writing. You may have strong feelings about whether it will be prose or poetry or memoir. Your inner critic jumps into high gear and lets loose volumes of reasons why you can’t possibly do this. Oh, my dear one, you’re not really a writer, he whispers. (He’s often very chummy. Don’t get fooled!)
After all, what will you do? Just pull words out of the air?
Well, yes. In a way that’s what you’ll do if you want to write but don’t know where to start.
Here are a few things to remember when you are starting to write:
If you want to be a writer, write.
If you’re a writer you know that sometimes it’s a drag to get your butt into the chair and sit down and write. Especially by yourself.
It’s so easy to get sidetracked. Because the blank page is daunting. It would be fun to think of some ways to make it less so. I could do that now but that would be another track to the side.
There is a solution. And it’s a powerful one.
A writers’ circle.
There’s power in + one. A circle of committed writers who benefit from an appointment to get to their practice. A circle of writers who understand what each is going through, who will gladly hold the space and contribute their energy so everyone gets to do what they love, what they are called to do. A circle that offers support and encouragement along the way.
As a member of a writers’ circle you get to experience this power as you:
The point is that I schedule it because sometimes it’s just too easy to get sidetracked. And writing in the company of other writers? Well, that’s just the best!
Power up your writing time with a Writers’ Circle at The Purple Ink Cafe. It’s the solution to getting sidetracked, to avoiding, procrastinating or feeling overwhelmed.
All you have to do is show up!
For more information and to register for a current circle click here.
What do you consider your number one core motivator? Each time I’ve been asked freedom is first on my list.
While I certainly appreciate the freedoms we enjoy from all the wonderful work of our forefathers, the freedom that comes up for me, that drives me, is a deeper freedom. It’s the unleashing of my creativity. The freedom to explore and discover my unique voice wherever that shows up – in my home, on a scrap of watercolor paper, my career and relationships. And with that freedom comes an obligation to be true to that voice.
Because the world needs our true voices. It is parched and craves the nourishment that our beautiful and unique selves provide.
One of the most powerful places to exercise that freedom is through writing. Writing clarifies and articulates that freedom. It is a vehicle of discovery and growth, an outlet for emotion and imagination. It expands it and celebrates our inner freedom. And, in a safe and nurturing space, it is magic.
When I took that leap and joined a writing group I experienced that magical freedom. My life began to shift. It was a gradual unfolding; a knowing that my truest and unique self was okay. Writing gave me the bravery to, as Thoreau said, “advance confidently in the direction” of my dreams. It taught me to trust the creative process and to lose the rigid attachment to an end result. I learned to enjoy the meandering beginnings in my writing knowing that I could invite in the left brain to finish up. (Also, to learn that that philosophy works everywhere in my life, even to planning dinner!)
All that from writing. That is freedom!
And I want that freedom for you! This is why I create space for writers to gather in a safe circle. This is why I gather writers and other creative souls to do the most meaningful work we will ever do – to exercise the freedom to joyfully be who they are.
Join me in a Writers’ Circle at The Purple Ink Cafe. Click here to read more about it and to register for the current circle.
Exercise your inalienable right to let your voice ring out. The world is waiting to hear from you!
I always wanted to write but had limited myself to business writing or snappy newsletter blurbs for our decorative painting business. At work I was the go-to person for office memos, procedure manuals, spelling, usage and grammar.
But to write for the sake of writing? Without a definite purpose to write toward? That felt too big and open. To move into storytelling? A short story? A novel? That was a bit like stepping off a cliff.
Then serendipity and synchronicity conspired to find me a writer’s group at the exact time my inner critic was napping. I signed up. Without thinking twice. Big GULP!
The circle of writers became my safety net.
I marveled at how the other women in the writers’ group could come up with amazing, cohesive pieces of writing in only 20-25 minutes, writing that flowed and moved the listener. Their words danced off the page in a very non-linear path. Free, rhythmic, colorful, musical. I felt intimidated but I was committed. I had made the “appointment” and was there to write.
Eventually something clicked with me. I became one of those women.
This does not mean that every word that flowed from my pen was exquisite. Not by a long shot!
What it means is that I had found a safe space to explore my voice, to write poorly and to write beautifully – sometimes in the same piece. I learned to recognize what worked and to let go what didn’t. I allowed fresh writing to flow without a critic and to hear what resonated with my listener/reader.
By writing I became a writer. In a circle of writers I got to grow as a writer.
In time I certified as an Amherst Writers and Artists workshop leader and began to lead my own workshops in ways that cultivated the creativity of the writers who joined me. I got to apply my own facilitation style. I got to deeply listen to the tentative voice and find the beauty. I got to see polish applied and the craft shine through. I got to create and hold safe space for writers to explore their craft.
That is what I will be doing here at The Purple Ink Café - creating and holding virtual space for writers to sit at their own writing tables and get to their writing; to write poorly or beautifully or anywhere in between. Space where new writers can think “here’s a place I can start.” Space for an experienced writer to be accountable to her practice and draw on the energy of the other writers.
Experience it for yourself! Join me in a Writers’ Circle at The Purple Ink Café. For more information and to register for the current circle click here.
Because by writing you become a writer. In a circle of writers you get to grow as a writer.
Kathy Kane blogs about the creative process in the everyday, in writing and in the magical transition to the second half of life.
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