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Posts Tagged ‘Writing Retreats’

To become a writer, to be a writer, is deceptively simple:  All you have to do is write.  As soon as you begin writing, you are a writer.  Plain and simple.

Whenever I facilitate writing retreats and workshops, we always start with a short free-writing period.  The purpose of this exercise is to wade into the stream of writing, to get ourselves wet. By doing so, we establish right from the beginning that every participant is indeed a writer.  Then I encourage everyone to let go of, or at least suspend, any nagging internal debates like: “Am I or am I not really a writer? . . . Do I have what it takes to be a writer? . . .  Am I fooling myself in wanting to write? . . .” etc. Such conjectures are not helpful or conducive for establishing a writing practice. So for now, as best you can allow yourself, just drop them.

Writing is a process and one enters the process as soon as one engages in the act of writing.  This commonsense notion is so obvious that we often overlook it, but sometimes it’s refreshing to remind ourselves how easy it is to just begin writing.

Gail Sher, a writer and longtime Buddhist practitioner, outlines four axioms in her book One Continuous Mistake, Four Noble Truths for Writers that are somewhat analogous to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. These are:

FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS FOR WRITERS

1. Writers write.

2. Writing is a process.

3. You don’t know what your writing will be until the end of the process.

4. If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is not to write.

        I love these “truths” for their simplicity and directness and their implicit encouragement to enter the stream of writing. So wade on in. And if you occasionally find yourself cast up on some shore, high and dry, just recognize that you’re simply a writer who hasn’t been writing.  The stream of writing is always there, ready and waiting for your return.

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I’m pleased to announce that I will be facilitating a weekend writing retreat near Columbus, Ohio this coming June.  You can see details about the retreat here on my blog at the page for:

WRITING FROM THE HEART – A WEEKEND RETREAT

June 6 – 7, 2009   –   9:00a.m – 5:00p.m

        This weekend will be a great opportunity to enhance your creative writing practice in a comfortable, beautiful setting. This will be a process-oriented retreat so we will emphasize generating fresh, new material in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment. I’ll be providing lots of prompts and techniques for invoking the creative voice. We’ll be doing some group exercises but there will be plenty of time and space for working on your own individual projects as well.

        The Cedar Hill Massage facility is located about 20 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio on 80 acres of rolling farmland and woods.  Registration includes lunch, snacks & beverages.  So if you’ll be around Columbus during early June, we’ll have the perfect time, place, and space for you to indulge in your creative writing.  Hope you’ll be able to join us!  Please check the page and contact me if you’d like more information.

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