Last Updated On April 25, 2017

 

"Without love, what reason is there for anything?" -Paterson, the movie

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This meeting was really fun. I love the cast of characters, two regulars and two newbies- I always find it interesting that despite the short “get to know you time” the group always coalesces quickly and we show up for each other in such a natural, fluid way. I felt like this meet-up in particular personified that.

I’ve noticed that although most everyone is honing their daily writing practice in one way or another, no one feels moved to share their work in progress. Which is totally fine and understandable. I’m all about a friendly nudge, but I don’t go any further than that. However, I do feel a responsibility, as facilitator of the group to be the vulnerability test subject. And I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of good at being the person to admit something is really hard for me or the many things that I don’t completely understand, or the open mic that I went to but chickened out about participating, or the past feedback I’ve gotten that really hurt my feelings even though I know it was meant to be helpful, or reading aloud the *really* rough draft that seemed shinier when I scribbled it in my notebook a few days before. I think its healthy for the group to be grounded in a nice cozy topsoil of ineptitude and honesty- keeping it real and not so damned serious. And this actually got touched on later in the session- how we read so much and get so enamored of the “masters of literature” that its possible to psych ourselves out and give up before we’ve started, feeling like we could never equal that level of competence. This is a cognitive pitfall. And so easy to succumb to, one can succumb happily while reading a great novel!! Dangerous. As Alex sagely put it- there is SO much cognitive work to do to be a writer. Amen.

Angela made us aware of an idea organizing strategy called “parking, pruning, promoting”, this lesson guide explains the concept: https://betterlesson.com/lesson/resource/2532026/parking-promoting-and-pruning-docx 

I LOVE having a middle school teacher in the group. As a person who generates a lot of extraneous ideas, I found this SO helpful.

As we started playing with our theme of writing OUT OF PLACE, memoirs, travel writing, photo journals… The app “Day One” came up, here’s a link to it: http://dayoneapp.com

It looks like a fun way to synergize ones photos and writing, I’m looking forward to trying it. We also talked about the many compelling ways to organize a memoir, that it can be really creative, not necessarily chronological, and as focussed or broad as the writer sees fit. Its actually pretty amazing, all the different ways a human experience can be crystallized.

We heard about 30 Poems in 30 Days, another way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Now that I’m looking into it, it appears that there are many iterations of this challenge but here is a link to one: http://3030poetry.com

I can see how this could be very motivating, with options to share or not share, daily prompts, and a container for just diving in. Yay for poetry month!

Probably my favorite point of our meeting came with the soft admission that “its been harder to write since the election”. Boom. Its like I’ve felt this in my bones and upon hearing it, it made total sense but I appreciated getting to tease it apart in a supportive group. It never feels like anything is important enough, relevant enough, social justice oriented enough. Like we have to apologize for who we are, the privilege we have, and our writing suffers from a lack of confidence. The election set off a recalibration that has been difficult to recover from. Do little things matter any more? Are there even more things coming before art than there was before? Are these times hard on artists because of pressure from the outside or because of our dispositions on the inside? Shit. I can’t even do this discussion justice. Which is making me laugh because that is the point- feeling like we can’t do anything justice. It felt immensely freeing to bring this to surface.

I’ll just call this part, Three Poets and a Film:

http://www.rossgay.net/poems-essays

http://www.dwaynebetts.com/bio/

http://www.oceanvuong.com/poems

http://www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/paterson

I am sure that I have left things out, I tried. Please join us of our next installment!

 

Last Updated On April 25, 2017

 

"Without love, what reason is there for anything?" -Paterson, the movie

 

This meeting was really fun. I love the cast of characters, two regulars and two newbies- I always find it interesting that despite the short “get to know you time” the group always coalesces quickly and we show up for each other in such a natural, fluid way. I felt like this meet-up in particular personified that.

I’ve noticed that although most everyone is honing their daily writing practice in one way or another, no one feels moved to share their work in progress. Which is totally fine and understandable. I’m all about a friendly nudge, but I don’t go any further than that. However, I do feel a responsibility, as facilitator of the group to be the vulnerability test subject. And I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of good at being the person to admit something is really hard for me or the many things that I don’t completely understand, or the open mic that I went to but chickened out about participating, or the past feedback I’ve gotten that really hurt my feelings even though I know it was meant to be helpful, or reading aloud the *really* rough draft that seemed shinier when I scribbled it in my notebook a few days before. I think its healthy for the group to be grounded in a nice cozy topsoil of ineptitude and honesty- keeping it real and not so damned serious. And this actually got touched on later in the session- how we read so much and get so enamored of the “masters of literature” that its possible to psych ourselves out and give up before we’ve started, feeling like we could never equal that level of competence. This is a cognitive pitfall. And so easy to succumb to, one can succumb happily while reading a great novel!! Dangerous. As Alex sagely put it- there is SO much cognitive work to do to be a writer. Amen.

Angela made us aware of an idea organizing strategy called “parking, pruning, promoting”, this lesson guide explains the concept: https://betterlesson.com/lesson/resource/2532026/parking-promoting-and-pruning-docx 

I LOVE having a middle school teacher in the group. As a person who generates a lot of extraneous ideas, I found this SO helpful.

As we started playing with our theme of writing OUT OF PLACE, memoirs, travel writing, photo journals… The app “Day One” came up, here’s a link to it: http://dayoneapp.com

It looks like a fun way to synergize ones photos and writing, I’m looking forward to trying it. We also talked about the many compelling ways to organize a memoir, that it can be really creative, not necessarily chronological, and as focussed or broad as the writer sees fit. Its actually pretty amazing, all the different ways a human experience can be crystallized.

We heard about 30 Poems in 30 Days, another way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Now that I’m looking into it, it appears that there are many iterations of this challenge but here is a link to one: http://3030poetry.com

I can see how this could be very motivating, with options to share or not share, daily prompts, and a container for just diving in. Yay for poetry month!

Probably my favorite point of our meeting came with the soft admission that “its been harder to write since the election”. Boom. Its like I’ve felt this in my bones and upon hearing it, it made total sense but I appreciated getting to tease it apart in a supportive group. It never feels like anything is important enough, relevant enough, social justice oriented enough. Like we have to apologize for who we are, the privilege we have, and our writing suffers from a lack of confidence. The election set off a recalibration that has been difficult to recover from. Do little things matter any more? Are there even more things coming before art than there was before? Are these times hard on artists because of pressure from the outside or because of our dispositions on the inside? Shit. I can’t even do this discussion justice. Which is making me laugh because that is the point- feeling like we can’t do anything justice. It felt immensely freeing to bring this to surface.

I’ll just call this part, Three Poets and a Film:

http://www.rossgay.net/poems-essays

http://www.dwaynebetts.com/bio/

http://www.oceanvuong.com/poems

http://www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/paterson

I am sure that I have left things out, I tried. Please join us of our next installment!

Last Updated On April 25, 2017

"Without love, what reason is there for anything?" -Paterson, the movie

This meeting was really fun. I love the cast of characters, two regulars and two newbies- I always find it interesting that despite the short “get to know you time” the group always coalesces quickly and we show up for each other in such a natural, fluid way. I felt like this meet-up in particular personified that.

I’ve noticed that although most everyone is honing their daily writing practice in one way or another, no one feels moved to share their work in progress. Which is totally fine and understandable. I’m all about a friendly nudge, but I don’t go any further than that. However, I do feel a responsibility, as facilitator of the group to be the vulnerability test subject. And I don’t want to brag, but I’m kind of good at being the person to admit something is really hard for me or the many things that I don’t completely understand, or the open mic that I went to but chickened out about participating, or the past feedback I’ve gotten that really hurt my feelings even though I know it was meant to be helpful, or reading aloud the *really* rough draft that seemed shinier when I scribbled it in my notebook a few days before. I think its healthy for the group to be grounded in a nice cozy topsoil of ineptitude and honesty- keeping it real and not so damned serious. And this actually got touched on later in the session- how we read so much and get so enamored of the “masters of literature” that its possible to psych ourselves out and give up before we’ve started, feeling like we could never equal that level of competence. This is a cognitive pitfall. And so easy to succumb to, one can succumb happily while reading a great novel!! Dangerous. As Alex sagely put it- there is SO much cognitive work to do to be a writer. Amen.

Angela made us aware of an idea organizing strategy called “parking, pruning, promoting”, this lesson guide explains the concept: https://betterlesson.com/lesson/resource/2532026/parking-promoting-and-pruning-docx 

I LOVE having a middle school teacher in the group. As a person who generates a lot of extraneous ideas, I found this SO helpful.

As we started playing with our theme of writing OUT OF PLACE, memoirs, travel writing, photo journals… The app “Day One” came up, here’s a link to it: http://dayoneapp.com

It looks like a fun way to synergize ones photos and writing, I’m looking forward to trying it. We also talked about the many compelling ways to organize a memoir, that it can be really creative, not necessarily chronological, and as focussed or broad as the writer sees fit. Its actually pretty amazing, all the different ways a human experience can be crystallized.

We heard about 30 Poems in 30 Days, another way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Now that I’m looking into it, it appears that there are many iterations of this challenge but here is a link to one: http://3030poetry.com

I can see how this could be very motivating, with options to share or not share, daily prompts, and a container for just diving in. Yay for poetry month!

Probably my favorite point of our meeting came with the soft admission that “its been harder to write since the election”. Boom. Its like I’ve felt this in my bones and upon hearing it, it made total sense but I appreciated getting to tease it apart in a supportive group. It never feels like anything is important enough, relevant enough, social justice oriented enough. Like we have to apologize for who we are, the privilege we have, and our writing suffers from a lack of confidence. The election set off a recalibration that has been difficult to recover from. Do little things matter any more? Are there even more things coming before art than there was before? Are these times hard on artists because of pressure from the outside or because of our dispositions on the inside? Shit. I can’t even do this discussion justice. Which is making me laugh because that is the point- feeling like we can’t do anything justice. It felt immensely freeing to bring this to surface.

I’ll just call this part, Three Poets and a Film:

http://www.rossgay.net/poems-essays

http://www.dwaynebetts.com/bio/

http://www.oceanvuong.com/poems

http://www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/paterson

I am sure that I have left things out, I tried. Please join us of our next installment!