I have found that groups of women gathered together (whether online or in person) for a specific purpose is a powerful assembly. It is full of insight, perception, life experience and compassion. It is a place to feel witnessed and heard. It is a place to ask for what you need. It is a place to be quiet or to come into the center and share.
It’s also a place to see yourself in a new and beautiful light.
When I create these circles, I do so with great intention.
We always begin with a guided relaxation. This sets the tone, enables us to leave behind the busyness of our day and, particularly in a virtual setting, allows us to feel embraced by a gentle circle.
We observe certain guiding principles in the writing circles:
- Kindness and Respect
- No criticism, suggestion or question is directed toward the writer in response to first draft, freshly written work. We only respond to the writing with what is working and what stays with the listener.
- The teaching of craft is conducted through exercises that invite experimentation and growth as well as through observation of and listening to what is working for the writer herself and the others.
- Confidentiality about what is written in the workshop is maintained and the privacy of the writer is protected.
These elements contribute to the creation of a safe space with a little magic and where everyone is welcomed whoever they are and wherever they are in their life.
There’s a lot of noise out there in the world. It’s hard to know how to filter it, what to assimilate, what to let go. I have always found writing to be a way to make order out of chaos. When I pick up my pen, I get to discover what I’m thinking. And the interesting thing is that what comes out isn’t always about what’s going on around me! It’s often more about what going on inside me.
That’s the thing about creativity. It surprises, clarifies and sorts our thoughts, soothes the jangling nerves and helps us return to what is most important to us. It can make order out of chaos.
This is why I offer writing circles.
WRITING INTO SPRING
I offer it on Zoom (yes, like so much of our life!) and we start in January. (See below for dates and pricing. )
The circles are based the Amherst Writers and Artists * workshop model. Each time we meet we will write, share and discuss. While the discussion is mainly limited to what works and what stays with the listeners/readers, I have seen how when the writer hears what the reader hears it opens the work up to lots of possibilities. It’s very cool.
*The AWA based workshop is not a critique or editing group. It is a way onto the page, spontaneous writing, that is then shared. We as listeners/readers only focus on what stays with us and what is working in the freshly written piece.
Here is my hope for you.
I hope you’ll find your voice, one that soothes, delights and sparks your curiosity. I hope you get to experience the freedom to experiment and discover your unique voice, a voice that trickles off the page and into your everyday life. Where there’s any doubt, you will hear the feedback that affirms that, yes, you really do have something to say. And, if you already identify as a writer, I hope you’ll view this as an opportunity to return to a writing practice or get some momentum with what you’re already doing.
Finally, here’s what I’ve learned over the 15+ years I’ve been doing this:
- When you put aside your reservations, you are delighted with what comes off the tip of your pen.
- When you come into the safe container I provide, you find structure and oodles of freedom which then unleashes your amazing voice.
- Stories that have been lost are suddenly found. Your voice – both on and off the page – strengthens.
Oh, and did I mention that it’s really fun!
Each time I finish a workshop my husband will ask how it went. I’m usually so full of the writers’ voices that it’s hard to respond. I’m at a loss for words. I’m overwhelmed with the beauty and passion, the humor and wisdom of all the freshly written words. I just tell him how freaking incredible everyone was.