Close friends of ours celebrated the renewal of their marriage vows at Skybarn last weekend.
The tent was set up out in the back, and two white points poked up out of the cedar trees like party hats. A beautiful arbour marked the entrance to our ceremony site.
The theme of their ceremony was “Beginning Anew.” This is a practice taught by Thich Nhat Hahn — it means looking deeply and honestly at ourselves, in order to create a fresh beginning in our relationships.
I spent a day in the Wenjack Legacy Space in our bookstore, a place meant for conversations about reconciliation, writing what I said at their ceremony. (I got a bit emotional doing this. I hope I held it together.)
I think of writing as a relationship. So as I wrote about the promise to be present, that the nature of the universe is interaction, how special it is to notice what’s ever-changing about each other, I was writing about love — but I was writing about creativity, too.
It’s time for me to let go of Radiant Shimmering Light. I am no longer creating Lilian’s life, feeling the dizzy delight of imagining auras, watching Eleven carefully to see what she does next. That story belongs to its readers, now.
Writing that book was my life partner for seven years. It’s time for me to start writing something new.
Some writers who are interested in the Story Intensive have asked me how it can be good for beginners and seasoned writers alike. This is why: Because every time we start a new piece of writing, we go back to the basics of our practice. Staying open. Noticing details. Crafting dialogue and characters that feel real and surprising. Writing without knowing what your story wants to be.
This series has been an experiment. I’ve been writing these Diary letters without knowing exactly where they would lead me.
And I’ve often been surprised! For instance, I started the topic of writing friends, and ended up writing about being alone. Ha! That’s the way writing works for me — I set out thinking I know what I know, and I hold my pen like a divining rod. Then I find out what my writing wants me to know.
I’ve always written my newsletters with care, but the difference in this Diary of a Misfit Author series is that I haven’t been writing my novel at the same time. These letters have become my primary writing practice.
Thank you for reading them, and for being so kind as I’ve shared more about myself than I usually do.
Since 2001, people have found out about my classes from word of mouth. I used to put up posters at the laundromat; now I send out newsletters, videos and social media posts, because that’s how word of mouth works these days.
Like most writers I know, I’m a private person. So making videos and sending you pieces of my diary definitely presses the edge for me!
Seeing my face on video is uncomfortable. I have lots of lines on my forehead, my voice is squeaky and my hair is turning silver at the temples like an old shepherd. And it must be said that whenever I ask you to “click a link” in a newsletter, I’m afraid I sound like Tony Robbins, or a Vitamix ad or something.
But the Story Intensive happens once a year. And our graduates tell me that this writing program is the only one they’ve done that heals their writing pain and teaches them to write great stories at the same time.
So coming out of my privacy shell to spread the word is worth it.
Are you ready to cultivate a much deeper relationship with your writing?
Are you ready to finally start writing the book you want to read?
This is it. Time to make your decision. If you’re going to write with us this September, please register now.
(Note: you will not get a Vitamix when you click that link. Instead, you’ll get four immersive months of incredible writing and reading, a new group of writing friends you can trust, and a renewed relationship to your creative source.)
p.s. You can learn about Legacy Spaces and the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund here. I don’t think enough people know about them.
p.p.s. In case you missed this yesterday — EDEN ROBINSON is our Master Class author for the 2018 Intensive. EDEN. ROBINSON.