Writing Lab Returns

ImageThis fall I am taking time off from teaching my regular load of classes. I am training myself to avoid saying, “I’m not working.” I am working. I’m getting up every morning and writing…except when I’m on my way to Chehalis (so far, every week) to see my mother, or to attend a conference. I am working–hard–on the unassailable rewrite of my novel. Encouraged by the three days at LitFuse, a total immersion in poetry, I’m also working on a new, long poem.

One Monday each month (yesterday, as it turned out) I’m meeting with two other novelists to look at pages and talk about how one gets what is in one’s head into a story.

On Tuesday afternoons, I’ll be meeting with colleagues at the college for Writing Lab. It’s our fourth year–or is it our fifth? There are only a stalwart few of us, staff and faculty (a couple writing teachers) and alum, but we meet every week and we write for 45 minutes or an hour and then spend a few minutes reading aloud what we’ve drafted. At the end of the year, we gather at Under the Red Umbrella (a local eatery) to celebrate. In these ways the work progresses.

Here is a quote I plan to share with the lab today. It is from Louise DeSalvo’s Writing as a Way of Healing:

“I didn’t know that if you want to write, you must follow your desire to write. And that your writing will help you unravel the knots in your heart. I didn’t know that you could write simply to take care of yourself, even if you have no desire to publish your work. I didn’t know that if you want to become a writer, eventually you’ll learn through writing–and only through writing–all you need to know about your craft. And that while you’re learning, you’re engaging in soul-satisfying, deeply nurturing labor. I didn’t know that if you want to write and don’t, because you don’t feel worthy enough or able enough, not writing will eventually begin to erase who you are.” (31)

“Soul-satisfying, deeply nurturing labor.” That’s what I’m engaged in this fall.

Image

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Writing Lab Returns

  1. I have a book for you and your readers. Cherishment, by Elizabeth Young-Breuhl, the great biographer of Hannah Arendt. In re: “soul-satisfying and deeply nurturing labor.” It’s a re-interpretation of Freudian psychology in terms of the infant’s expectation to be warmly and lovingly welcomed and sustained and to be engaged in mutual cherishing — and how that expectation and its fulfillments and disappointments at each life stage are related to everyone’s life journey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s