This weekend I’m going to learn to drive. No, not cars. Horses.
Why? Because when I heard about the horse-driving clinic being held at a local stable, my heart and mind lit up with the possibilities: What if on my dream homestead — the one I don’t own yet — I used horse power to do the heavy lifting? What if I could run errands in town in a snappy red buggy? And, what if this horse-driving class was the turning point in my acceptance that, not too deep inside, I’m more’n a little bit Amish-ish?
These dreams might not sound practical but I have a hunch that in the not-so-long run they will produce some amazing results. My hard-won assurance comes from my initial reaction: My heart and mind lit up with the possibilities.
Over the years I’ve trained myself to watch for that bright light and to respect it.
Although, being a naturally practical and cautious person, it was terrifying at first to listen to my heart’s desires, the most meaningful, most productive developments in my self, my life, and my career have come only through listening to them.
That, and taking action, of course. A heart’s desire heard but not responded to just gets sulky and back-stabby. It starts messing with various aspects of your life in creepy, passive-aggressive sorts of ways, like a bad ex.
I find this heard-but-not-acted-upon dynamic a lot among writers. They tell me there is something they are working on, some manuscript they can’t seem to finish, some dream book they have in mind, but they can’t push past whatever resistance is in them (or around them) to get it done.
Not this weekend (because I’ll be learning to drive a horse!), but the weekend after that, I’m going to try to help those writers out. On October 18 and 19, I’ll be teaching a weekend writers intensive at the Driftless Writing Center in Viroqua, Wis., called “Unsticking the Stuck: Going Farther in Your Writing Through Awareness of Self-Imposed Boundaries.”
If you are a writer who is, uh, champing at the bit to get started again on a “stuck” project, or even if you just want to explore what makes you write and why, please check it out.
And if you are a writer who reads the workshop description and feels the ol’ heart and mind light up at the idea of spending an autumn weekend in a beautiful Wisconsin town, surrounded by other writers, and digging into your work, then you should respect that, grab the reins, and sign up!
I hope to see you there.
Unsticking the Stuck:
Going Farther in Your Writing Through Awareness of Self-Imposed Boundaries
Sat. 18 Oct. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun. 19 Oct. 12 noon-4 p.m.
$95 (or $85 with pre-registration. Pre-register: email@example.com)
A Driftless Writing Center Writers Intensive, with Jennifer Morales
All writers get stuck. Self-awareness can help. During this two-day intensive we will engage in fun and revealing writing exercises to help you hear yourself as a writer and discover self-imposed limits you place on your writing. Come prepared to dig deep and get moving.