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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