At a writer’s workshop (actually just a two hour gathering) today at Nightbird Books on Dickson Street, there was a breakthrough in my writing. I’ve often heard that when you are compelled to ask questions that you are being prepared to find the answer.
For the past few weeks I have prayed for answers to two questions that have been hovering around me for years. During this mini-workshop the questions were answered and though they were not related, or so I thought, the answer combines them and it makes perfect sense.
And you the reader is going, huh?
Another thing I have always believed is that when you tell too much you deplete the idea in the energy of the telling, and the idea loses its oomph. To avoid that I will just talk around the idea and share a little more about how it all came to pass.
The leader of this workshop is very good at making you think. The exercises she had us do was leading me down this path I couldn’t quite get a handle on and at one point I expressed my only frustration with writing: that I seemed to stay in the memoir style, or talking about events or stories in my life and those around me. She asked us to list three topics to write on in the next few days and then close to the end of the session she asked us to do a five minute writing exercise. The directions were to write about someone we know or would like to have known, maybe a grandparent that died young and only lives in the family oral history.
What surprised me was who came out of the end of my pen. It was a lovely pen, the instructor’s, and I hated to let it go. Out of the end of that lovely pen came this story of a woman I finally saw from another point of view–you guessed it: I stepped into her shoes.
Wow. What a revelation. What an opportunity to explore something that has bothered me since the early 80’s. Stay tuned over the next months for updates. When it feels like it is safe to share the idea without exhausting it before it gets completed I will share.
(Photo right by Lisa Burns Photography)
Just know that there are always things around the next bend that will take your breath away and that reveals aspects of lives around you and in your past that can be quite shocking!