Archive | September 2012

Conscious Writing

Last week, I went along to a day workshop entitled ‘Conscious Writing’ led by Julia McCutchen. I love going to writing workshops and was curious to see what it was all about, and have to say that it was an incredibly interesting, engaging and fascinating day. I won’t write about it all on here, for a start it would be a huge essay and I’m sure Julia wouldn’t thank me for giving away all the secrets of the workshop, but I’ll do my best to pick out some highlights.

The whole idea of ‘Conscious Writing’ is that we find an alignment with our deeper self, our soul, our heart (or whatver you want to call it) then share the messages, insights and stories that come from this place and write the books we are meant to write. Julia pointed out that connecting with your deeper self will increase your creative flow and will give your writing voice a lot more authenticity which means it will stand out from the crowd in what we all know is an incredibly competitive market.

Julia talked about the importance of giving ourselves the time we need to cultivate our creativity and allow the seeds of our ideas to germinate. This gave me a lot to think about; life is incredibly busy for me at the moment, and I often tell myself off for doing what I think is ‘wasting time’, when in fact allowing ourselves this time is a vital step in the creative process. For me, one positive action from this, is promising that I’ll treat myself to an art exhibition soon as I find art incredibly inspiring but haven’t been to see any for ages… Oh and I’ll allow myself some lazy Sundays too!

Julia told us that intuition is a key element to Conscious Writing. She likened ideas and inspiration to ‘golden threads’ that we need to follow and see where we end up. As writers, we know how exciting it is when a certain character wanders into our mind or when a feeling, phrase or image resonates in us. I love the idea of writers following this ‘golden thread’ which will hopefully lead them to the beginnings of a story, poem, novel, article, play or whatever else….

Trust is such an important part of writing – we all know that the inevitable rejections will pop up unhappilly on our doormats and inboxes and without that trust that we do in fact have something worthwhile to say and that one day people will want to read about it is essential in keeping us going.

So, do check out Julia’s website if you’re interested in finding out more. She’s certainly a very talented and inspirational teacher and I would highly recommend trying one of her workshops or talks.

Now, that I’m all nicely motivated and connected with my deeper self, I’m planning to have a go at the Greenacre Writers competition and the Erewash Writers’ Group competition and see where my ‘Conscious Writing’ takes me…

Why I Love Writing…

Actually, there’s loads of reasons, all of which I could happily blog about for days… The one I’m going to talk about today is the ‘surprise’ factor!

A couple of weeks ago, a writing friend tweeted me to say that she’d seen my letter in this month’s Writers’ Forum Magazine! After a long and pretty stressful day, this was just the news I wanted to hear. It may only be a letter but it’s the first time I’ve ever sent any non fictional material out into the publishing world (not counting this blog, that is, but even that’s fairly new!) and I’m absolutely delighted that it’s been accepted.

Surprises like this give me (and I suspect other writers) such a big boost and are what keeps many of us going between sales! A few months ago,  in an idle moment, I (rather narcissistically) googled my own name (don’t judge me!!) and was delighted to discover that a story of mine had, in fact, been shortlisted in a competition I had written off ages ago. The top three winners had been announced long ago (not me!), but nothing was said about the shortlist, until it appeared on their website!

Now, of course, I would much prefer that the comp organisers had informed me about this. I may not have won anything, but knowing you’ve come close isabsolute gold dust for all aspiring writers and I really think they should have taken the time to tell us. However, it was still a lovely surprise to see that my story had made it that far and was a welcome bonus to my day!

So, I resolve to keep sending out stories, fillers and competition entries, as we never know when that surprise might pop up. And, speaking of competitons, Helen Yendall is running a free flash fiction competition from her blog! I’ve entered Helen’s competitons before and they are always friendly, fun, expertly organised (unlike the comp I mentioned above!) with some great prizes too.  Good luck if you decide to go for it!

This entry was posted on September 3, 2012. 4 Comments