EDIT (03/16/2020): This group is now wide open to help bring together writers during these COVID-19 times of self-isolation…
My creative and working life feels like a bit of a ramble sometimes. I mean, I’m walking a clear path, but I tend to branch off a lot.
Grab that bit of sheep’s wool that’s tangled in the heather; pause to pick some raspberries; look up at an eagle soaring overhead.
I wouldn’t exactly call these distractions – after all, creativity requires us to be present and attentive to the world – but they can divert me unless I’m careful.
It helps that I have people waiting for stuff: my mom, who’s usually my first reader, bugging me about when she gets to see my next book, my agent, readers who send me sweet little messages telling me how much they love my books. That really, really helps.
But I remember what it was like when I didn’t have that.
I remember learning a big lesson when I was whining about having to work hard to finish Swarm and my husband got annoyed with me.
Just do it, he said. I realized in that moment (we were sitting in the car in my mom and late step-dad’s driveway) that nobody really cares if I write.
I mean, sure, he would rather I be writing than complaining about writing but if I had stopped writing and also stopped complaining, he would have loved me anyway, and accepted whatever new path I’d decided to follow.
It was up to me, I realized. I had to care.
I say this a lot. I write about it a lot. It’s probably not new to those of you who’ve been reading my blog for awhile. But what is new is the depth of an understanding that I’m starting to come to: what helps the most, for all of us trying to do anything as isolating as writing, is support.
Support can be a game-changer. Support in the sense of: I see you. I see what you’re trying to do. I know that it’s important. It is important for me too. Keep going.
So, I decided this week to do something I’ve been meaning to do for awhile: set up a sort-of support group on Facebook for people who have worked with me before – during workshops, through online and in-person classes, as coaching clients, on retreat, and those who’ve taken my online ‘build a practice’ course (link in the sidebar) and are looking for more.
Having said this, I’m the first to recognize that a Facebook group can be simply a pit of distraction and wasted time. Full of memes and links that you can find a billion other places. My intention, then, is to make it more personal, more communal.
Like: at least one Facebook live event a week where we’ll write together, and if you can’t attend, the recordings will be posted so you can watch them, do the short exercise, and write with me. (Think of me as your personal writing mascot. 🙂 )
Maybe you aren’t on Facebook (and, yes, I SO get that decision! I wrote about leaving Facebook not that long ago, although I’ve obviously since returned, and even – I just discovered when I looked back at the post – used this same picture, of me, hiking in Scotland as the illustration… like I said: RAMBLING!). If that’s the case for you, keep an eye on the Nourishing Roots Retreats YouTube channel which I co-run with yoga instructor, Kerry Holmes, for occasional similar writing videos.
So, click right here to join the group, and join me for daily writing sessions at 2 p.m. Central. Previously, this content was exclusive only to people who have worked with me before or taken my online course (which you can grab right here), but I am opening it up to every writer in order to build community during the exceptional times of COVID-19.
And now, back to the ramble…. I look forward to connecting in this new and different way!
I see you. I see what you’re trying to do. I know that it’s important. It is important for me too. Keep going.