Good morning, fellow Writerly Women. I hope you're still here. I am. I won't go into all the reasons why I haven't reached out to you since November. Nobody needs to hear all that, trust me. But this is now, and I can't think of a more fitting day to push the reset button than Ash Wednesday.
Yeah, Mardi Gras -- or at least the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper -- is over, and those who observe Lent are moving into a season of introspection -- soul searching -- and hopefully transforming. I'm already into and loving it, even in light of the not-so-awesome things I'm having to face about myself. It's sort of like cleaning out a closet, right? It's a pain to do, but it feels Marie Kondo-worthy when you're done.
I think we can observe a Lent of sorts as writers too. I could give you post after post about techniques and information on 'what publishers want' (okay, maybe I can't do that last one because, really, who the heck knows anymore?). But you can get that from any number of great writing blogs. In fact, any expert on social media for authors will tell you: "Don't do a writing blog." (notice how carefully I paid attention to that ...) What I want to do for these next 40 days is offer some ways to go deeper as writers and, consequently, as people. It's going to look something like this:
* Searching questions about your willingness to get below the surface in your work
* Some Explorations, as we call them in the Doorways Program, to show you personally how you can get beneath the existing layers
* An open invitation to include us in your discovery process
* My experience as I excavate right along with you.
Are you in? Even if you don't usually comment will you just post a quick one to let us know you're with us, albeit silently?
To get you started, you might want to look at what some of our Writerly Women are already doing to dig deeper, rather than simply "Get There."
Heidi just launched a blog yesterday that I think you'll love. (I have it on personal authority that she is both a hoot and a deep-thinking person.
Abigail G. also has an engaging blog that will speak right to you.
Behind the scenes ...
Loretta has been inspired to change the entire ending of her work in progress -- no small feat in an epic novel.
Scotia is revising her entire non-fiction book -- which we thought was ready for prime-time viewing -- in light of new things she's discovering about herself.
Carell has taken up journaling, something she's balked at until recently. She's finding not only her protagonist but herself. Go figure.
Kathleen is discovering that painting before she sits down to write allows her to delve into those painful places that will make her non-fiction book a work of art in itself.
Andrea is now writing for Clubhouse Magazine because she was willing to dip into a facet of herself she hadn't used in her authorial career before.
After finishing Book 2, Dawn is rewriting her already-self-published Book 1 to reflect the strides she's made in going deeper.
Leslie is taking a break from working on her novel to immerse herself in important issues, an experience that will enrich that book when she returns to it.
The same goes for Pam, Hannah F. and Sandra.
I could go on, but the point is that each of these women is focusing on BEING HERE rather than GETTING THERE -- that elusive place we dream of that can't be reached through better techniques, the right writer's conference or even revising until our eyes bulge from their sockets. So --
Let's BE HERE for the next 40 days together.
Let's support each other as we take the risk to go down just a little bit further into our own authenticity.
Let's learn to live -- and consequently write -- from our beautiful God-made souls.
I can't ask you to do the above if I'm not doing it myself, and I am. I've taken up yoga more seriously, attending two classes a week at a wonderful studio on the newly-updated Lebanon Square (with tempting boutiques and coffee shops nearby for Artist Dates; just sayin') and practicing at home. I've coupled that with Centering Prayer and even more of my usual journaling. I'm beginning to see the effects of that not only in the work I'm doing on my novel two days a week, but in my mentoring as well. Everything seems more creative. Who knew?
One more thing. If you're between the ages of 19 and 35-ish, you can now register for the third annual Young Women Writers Retreat April 12-14 at the Glen Eyrie center in Colorado Springs. Check out the link. We will definitely be going deeper there.
If you can't make it to a retreat, that's okay. We'll make THIS our weekly (and hopefully more often) gathering place for working our way in. I can't wait to hear from you. Again, let us know if you're on board for the journey.