deep play
EVERY TWO WEEKS, I send out a writing tip and three soul-inviting prompts as inspiration for you to freewrite, either alone with your timer or in a gathering of writer friends. The resulting deep play opens up whole new landscapes of creative possibility for our writing and our lives. If you are new to this kind of writing practice, have a look at the freewriting principles. And to take your writing to the next level, check out the mentoring sessions I offer, which are helpful whether you are working on a book or just beginning to find your voice.   [read more]

WRITING TIP: Form an intimate relationship with your subject

WRITING TIP
Writing soulfully requires intimacy — with yourself and with your subject. As in any intimate relationship, to get close to and understand your subject requires time and care. Try taking Rachel Carson’s advise (which might also work with a friend you want to be closer to): “The writer must never attempt to impose himself upon his subject. He must not try to mold it according to what he believes his readers or editors want to read. His initial task is to come to know his subject intimately, to understand its every aspect, to let it fill his mind. Then at some turning point the subject takes command and the true act of creation begins. … The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him.”

WRITING TIP: I forget to listen…

WRITING TIP: I forget to listen...

WRITING PROMPT: Fumble for the light switch…

WRITING PROMPT: Fumble for the light switch...

WRITING TIP: The normal you save me from…

WRITING PROMPT: The normal you save me from...

WRITING TIP: No time to write? Take the one-day challenge.

One-day challenge
When writing seems impossible given all the world’s tasks and distractions, it’s time to take the one-day challenge. Here’s how to do it: right now, find a time tomorrow that is the best time to write and put it on your schedule, even if all you can manage is a 5-minute freewrite while you wait for the coffee to brew. Remind yourself you only have to do it that one day — and do it. Just this once, you can do as Joyce Carol Oates does: “I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card, when nothing has seemed worth enduring for another five minutes… and somehow the activity of writing changes everything. Or appears to do so.” After you finish writing (while you’re still feeling some sense of accomplishment), decide to take the one-day challenge again and put it on tomorrow’s schedule. Repeat as many times as necessary.

INSPIRATION: My two new books came out of my freewrite practice

I have just released two new books that I hope will inspire you to make one of your own, since both were born from my soul writing practice. The first is a poetry book called Cartoon Kali: Poems for Dangerous Times, which has taken a couple of years for me to refine and complete. The other, The Big and the Small: A Soul Story, poured out in one sitting and includes my own scribble drawings. I did it as a personal practice during a time of great transition and it was such a powerful help to me that I decided to publish it as a book to encourage others to try doing something similar in their own explorations. Ready to play? Have a look at some sample pages for both books — then dive into refining your own work for publication.

Poetry writing as a spiritual practice

For those in California, I’ll be offering an immersion in poetry writing as a spiritual practice from 9:30am to 2:30pm on September 17 in Fairfax. You don’t have to identify as “a poet,” but only yearn to access the layer of consciousness that dreams, intuits and sees beauty in unexpected places. We’ll use meditations and free writing practice to draw from a deeper place in us, and I’ll share with you some of the methods I use to create poems from these explorations. more info/register

WRITING PROMPT: Permission to age…

WRITING PROMPT: Permission to age...

WRITING PROMPT: Don’t mind…

WRITING PROMPT: Don't mind...

WRITING PROMPT: Strange machines…

Writing prompt: Strange machines...