The Writerly Ladies



Two friends and I have started a writing group. Yes! A writing group!

I am thrilled and scared to death at the same time. I’m afraid of exposing myself through my writing, and I’m afraid of revealing myself as a bad writer.

I have stepped outside my comfort zone. There’s no going back.

It’s one thing to write something that I don’t like and that no one else sees, and quite another to write something others will read and critique. I risk blowing my self-image as a knowledgeable writer and teacher of writing.

Nevertheless, there’s nowhere else to go but forward.

I don’t think anyone who writes will disagree that sharing writing is scary. So, instead of making my writing public, I read about writing. Although this is important, the act of writing and sharing that writing is infinitely more important. And, in order to do this I need to establish a daily writing routine.

Now that I’ve come clean and made my fear public, I can own it, confront it, and let it go.

I initiated this writing group to become a better writer. From all the reading I’ve done (it hasn’t been wasted), I know the most effective way to do this is to write every day and take risks by sharing my writing with others. But I get caught up in my fears and stop short by only doing writing exercises even though I know this is not enough. Or, I end up doing a lot of freewriting that goes nowhere.

I know I need to work hard at writing if I’m going to get better. (Isn’t this what I tell my students?) I know that I need to write a lot of bad stuff in order to get to something worthwhile. (My students have heard me say this a dozen times.) So, I’m hoping that this writing group will lift me up and help me soar.

I will be blogging about this journey from time to time. I hope you’ll join me.

And, you can read the blogs of my writing group partners here and here.

Writing Every Day

For me, the New Year has always been about making resolutions and setting goals for what I want to change in my life. I usually wait until January 1st to start my new regime of exercise or a new diet or an attempt at a new outlook on life, but invariably I fail. I fail because the goals are too big or overwhelming, and I’m too hard on myself if I don’t follow through. I start out OK but before too long, I flounder. And, when I flounder, I get down on myself. And, when I get down on myself, I go back to my old routines and even older habits.

This year, I decided not to wait until January 1st to start working on a new writing habit. I am going to write every day rather than procrastinating because I think I have nothing important to say. Or maybe, the habit I am trying to break is that of procrastinating, or maybe it’s about self-confidence. I often think I can’t do something, not because I’ve tried and failed, but because I didn’t even make an attempt. So, of course I fail. I am going to change that this year. By starting my New Year’s resolution earlier I’ve taken away the burden of potential failure that I’ve traditionally associated with New Year’s resolutions. And, as I write my way to meaning today, it seems that confidence will be my One Little Word (OLW) for 2015.

So, my New Year’s pledge is to write every day but my guiding word will be confidence.

I just love how writing helps clarify so much for me…as long as I write every day…for me.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Cross posted to