Writing to Thrive

Today is the third Saturday of the month which means it is my monthly Monadnock Writers’ Group meeting.

First off, I want everyone to know – I stepped out of my box. That’s right, out of my comfort zone. I did this by being the ten minute speaker this morning. That means I had to stand up in front of the group and read for ten minutes.

It went well.

I read an excerpt from Road Salt, the second chapter, and it was well received. Even though I was feeling shaky about the whole ordeal I did it.

This may have brought my confidence level up one more notch.

We had a speaker too. She has been speaking for the past year and I loved her topic – Thriving Creatively. She hit the nail on the head for every artists I know, even writers.

Her name is Michelle Aldredge, a writer, photographer and creator of Gwarlingo, an arts and culture website.

For more info: http://monadnockwriters.org/programs.html or

GWARLINGO.com

She described Thriving Creatively to be a form of growth, contentment, working deeply, fulfilling our potential.

But many of us struggle with thriving, especially when it comes to writing. We have many barriers in place. If we don’t then we are probably social paths and fear nothing.

She delved into the barriers that keep us from thriving – leading to the excuse of writers block and broke this into two groups.

Practical Obstacles

Physiological Obstacles

Isolation
– being alone as a writer and viewing oneself as an outsider.

Money – challenge of making a living

Career Management
– Marketing and Networking

Skill
– Learning the craft

Technology – Internet as a resource or a distraction

Fear – of doing it wrong, external judgment

Shame – being extremely vulnerable

 

Next she showed the correlation between Thriving and Struggling.

Thrive

Struggle

Play

Rest

Worthiness

Trust

Creative

Acceptance

Intuition

Hopeful

Authenticity

Grateful

Compassion

Courage

Perfection

Numbing

Certainty

Exhaustion

Self sufficient

Being cool

Fitting in

Judgment

Workaholic

Scarcity

Sarcasm

fear

 

Those who thrive as writers exhibit a strong sense of love and belonging. They have a sense of worthiness and the courage to be imperfect and compassion for themselves and others. They have found connections for themselves and others in artist communities like ROW80, RWA, local writing groups or an artist colony like McDowell Art Community.

They have learned that they must be vulnerable to create. If you strive to create the worst you could possible do then the world will open up for you. To Do – that’s why some say – Do it now!

Practical challenges are about money and making a living. Scarcity can teach us to have a different mindset and find gratitude for what we have. Once we are grateful stress seems to fade away.

Isolation can be a tricky one. Learning to risk participating is a good way to start off. Just asking for help is also good. It can come in the form of finding a mentor or taking an online workshop. And never equate acceptance or rejection with self-worth.

Skill = Practice. You only get better at something when you practice it regularly. This does not just go for learning a musical instrument but also when writing or drawing or anything that requires a skill. Don’t give up – stay on the bus.

Technology can help or hinder. Obsessing with technology can be a sign of numbing when you should be creating. Learn to use it mindfully.

When we learn to thrive we learn to survive and create that which we were meant to create.

 

ROW80 Update:

Eh – I was struggling last week. I fell into what I thought was being vulnerable by allowing my first draft to be critiqued. It slowed me down, but it didn’t put a stop t me. Instead it just made me rethink the first chapter and I believe I have made it much better. Now I feel I can go on. I have three weeks left until the next critique group. I have to finish the story before then or I won’t go to the critique. Vulnerably, I am not yet strong enough for that while using a first unfinished draft, even though I do feel stronger now for having done that.

I will take baby steps from now on instead of trying to run across the room before learning how to walk. (LOL)

I know I will be running before long and saying catch me if you can.

So nope, no word count for last week, but the weekend is still young and this is the time period when I do most of my writing anyways.

Are you struggling?

What’s your weakness?

What makes you stop writing?

 

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