Fearless Writing #1

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This week, I’m taking Fearless Writing, a class taught by Crescent Dragonwagon, children’s book author, cookbook author, writer and fantastic person.

Day One

I went to the Historic Arkansas Museum on Sunday evening at 6 pm for the Fearless Writing class and found it locked and dark. One other gentleman was also walking around, lost, looking for the class. We finally realized that on Sunday the class was held earlier in the evening. Sigh.

However, later that evening, CD called and said she would make up the class on Monday morning for the two of us who can’t read schedules. I hadn’t expected such graciousness! It was my mistake, not hers.

That first meeting, we were asked what challenges we face as writers, what burden we wanted lifted, what questions we wanted answered about our work. The groups’ responses were typical: how do I know if I’m any good, how can I do justice to this story, how do I make time to write, how to I put writing as a priority in my busy life.

In Fearless Writing, we are dealing with the psychology of writing, psychology of rewriting, the psychology of creativity. Why do we create? How do we validate ourselves as creators and our work as legitimate, worthy pieces of art?

For me, the transitions this year loom as my youngest son graduates from high school. I know enough about myself, my writing, and my writing process that I know I need to be dealing with this and not ignoring it. That’s why I’m sitting and listening to this fascinating woman each night. She’s reminding me of what I already know. Reminding me that I know how to stand firm and do my work.

Day Two: New Tools for Psychology of Creativity

Crescent Dragonwagon is also giving me some new tools for dealing with the psychological effects of creativity. For example, she uses acrostic poems as a way to “take your emotional temperature.” We wrote our full name down the side of a page, then she timed us and we wrote a narrative poem.

Interesting how the mind searches for story and closure. Almost everyone’s poem was a whole idea and usually had a narrative line. (Of course, they needed revision, but the first drafts were surprising & amazing.)

Crescent has recently sold Fearless Writing and it will appear as a book from Ten Speed Press in a year or so. When it comes out — oh, yes! — I’ll be letting you know!

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