Throughout the year folks have asked about my writing practice, so let’s talk about it. My morning routine consists of bringing a cup of coffee up to my dedicated writing space and taking about 20 minutes or so to write in my journal. In 2018, I joined a group called "Wildly Imperfect Continuous Practice" which encouraged us to post a picture to social media after finishing our writing as a way to keep accountable. There were no expectations, no sharing or commenting, just write and post.This practice, this is not about being a writer. It’s about being a human. A flawed, imperfect human practicing, continuously practicing. It’s about losing myself and finding myself by losing myself. It’s about taking regular time in my day for me, to slow the pinging thoughts and ideas in my head, sifting through the neurotic ones, letting most of them go, maybe making sense of one or two of them on the page. It’s about acknowledging exactly where I am at the moment. It’s accepting that I have exactly what I need. It’s about expressing gratitude, dissatisfaction, injustices, and joys. It’s about seeing words fill a page and welcoming them all without judgment or agenda. It’s about saying, here I am, another morning, with still so much the same, still so much to figure out, still so much that doesn’t make sense, still so much to do, to say, to be. It’s about having a place to feel overwhelmed, a place to feel stuck or angry or cheated or lonely, as well as a place to document the wins, the phone call from a friend, good news in an email, fantastic imaginings of “wouldn’t it be nice if…” Knowing like pages of a journal, the feelings will turn, another day will come and I face myself again, whether or not I make it back to the page again tomorrow doesn’t matter, I face myself just the same, but taking my minutes every morning makes that make more sense, or at least feel more manageable. Being a human is sometimes wonderful, sometimes hard. I suppose that’s the short answer to “why do you do this?” Because human.
The year winds down, the calendar on my wall is down to its single page, and with it brings reflection, an accounting in many ways. There are goals I’ve fallen short of, there are drafts still to be written, pounds still yet to lose, but there is also progress, great progress. Recently I hosted a Winter Reading in my home and reveled in our growing community. I’ve expanded the classes I offer through the University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning program, as well as through Salty City Writing Workshops. My collaboration with Ella Joy Olsen has been a highlight of the year, together we offer a path of support wherever you find yourself in your writing life and projects. If you’re unsure where to start or whether or not you have the right to start, let’s talk about it. If you’re sick of your draft and you feel lost on where to go next, let’s talk about it. If you’re ready to pitch and find that agent and publisher, let’s talk about it. I’ve worked with writers for almost ten years, developing their systems to support their writing goals, reflecting back what I see in their work, reminding them they have permission to write the story burning in their hearts. Ella has navigated the entire realm of completed novels, from the seeds of ideas through to publication. We’re here to help, we love this stuff, we love our community, and we’re looking forward to working with you in the shiny new year.