Saturday, January 19, 2008

my champions

I've been working my way through week one of The Artist's Way and thoroughly enjoying myself.

I thought it would be difficult to write three pages of longhand every day but, for the last couple of days, my words have spilled over beyond that third page.

Today I wrote four pages.

It's all stream of consciousness and some much most of it is just words I put down to keep going ("I'm thirsty" "Coffee tastes good" "The dog is getting a little smelly"). Every day, though, there are at least a couple of flashes of insight and I always feel energized when I'm done. It's not great writing but we aren't even supposed to re-read for at least the first six weeks of this twelve week programme.

I have never done anything like this before (and followed, through, anyway).

It's making me happy.

One of the tasks for this week was to make a list of people who have championed my writing throughout my life.

This is my list (in no particular order):

  • Each of the teachers (and there were several) who not only praised my writing but pushed me to do more. They went out of their way to give me creative writing assignments that would challenge me and give me the chance to grow as a writer. In particular, Mr. D., my high school drama teacher, was very special. He not only got me to write but encouraged me to apply to to Pearson College and coached me through the whole application and interview process.

  • My father, who was one of my very harshest critics but who taught me to value intelligence, reading and the beauty of language.

  • My spouse, who is almost always the first person to read this blog before it goes 'live.' His support has been unwavering. He knows me better than anyone and I value his feedback more than I can say.

  • My sister, herself an enormously talented writer, who has been one of my most vocal supporters since we were kids. I wrote for her when I was a child and I often still find myself writing with her in mind. Her absolute belief in me has kept me writing when I wanted to stop and helped to push me past my own doubts. Conversations with her continue to be the springboard for much of what I write. Of the two of us, she is the more lyrical writer, a poet who uses language in a way that inspires me.

  • And you, the readers of this blog. I started Not Just About Cancer as a place to process my experience with breast cancer and share some it with my friends and family. It has grown into so much more. Whether I know you IRL ('in real life'!) or not, I am so honoured by the fact that you keep coming reading (and that you take the time to provide feedback, through the comments, in person or via email).

Re-reading this, I am reminded why I consider myself to be a lucky person, despite having metastatic breast cancer.

It's good to count one's blessings every once in a while.


Chris said...

Oh, You are so sweet.....Thank You for thanking me for reading. I think you are the most talented of all the ones I read, and I read alot.......

Anonymous said...

the exercise sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

You could talk about your forthcoming blook and name the publisher, if you wished to get into a promotional frame of mind.

Anonymous said...

Nicely said, editor. Good laugh on a Sunday too cold for a walk. Brrrrr.

B in T

Meet Popsicle Stick Nancy said...

As one of your readers you haven't met IRL, just to say Julia Cameron is great; I'm doing it too ... on the other side of the atlantic, but hey ... I read you every day! V

Meet Popsicle Stick Nancy said...

.. likewise Laurie! I'm on week 9 and it's an emotional rollercoaster!! Be prepared; I hope you were a girl-scout! I's really great, this bloggers community. It is a connection to likeminded individuals when you're sitting in a cold shed at the bottom of a garden in the depths of England, trying desperately to make sense of things!!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite writing teachers ever was one of my instructors at UCLA who told us to "Just barf it all out. You can clean it up later." Obviously, this was her way of saying, "Just do it," years before Nike did.

Whoever thought we could be happy and fulfilled through more prolific barfing?

Rock on, chica. :)

Carver said...

I worked through the artist way program around 1993 and did pages for 12 years. I also went to an Artist Way workshop around 1996. You reminded me of what a good program that was for me, particularly the pages and the artist dates. I'm glad that the process of doing the AW is making you happy. It was a very joyful experience for me both when I did it alone and when I worked through it with a group. Thank you for reminding me of that. I stopped doing pages a few years ago but I may start again. Regards, Carver