In 2016, as I transitioned from the structured writing world of an MFA program, I was finding it difficult to stay focused on writing. Some days, of course, were better than others. Along with the MFA transition, I was also changing my work life and opening up more time for my own projects and creativity.
Time, however, was not the silver bullet for “flow.” It’s remarkable how much influence the brain (my brain) can exert on the writer (me) to convince them (her) to do anything but write. My house was never so clean but my pages were never so empty.
It has been almost two years since I found out about Writers At Work. I joined the weekly Meditate/Create sessions where writers are invited to stop by, breathe, move, meditate and do fevered writing. A prompt, always available to inspire, could be used or not. Spending an hour once a week with fellow writers to break through self-imposed blocks was confidence building and kept me moving forward all week.
As my memoir work developed, I joined WAW’s book-in-progress class Cover to Cover. Here I learned a new approach to giving and getting workshop feedback that doesn’t rely on a binary like/don’t like system but rather unearths themes, observations and questions. This approach has proven invaluable in its ability to open doors of possibility versus prescribe solutions to what may or may not be “problems.”