Preparing: Lenten Writing Challenge 2012

Beginning with Intentions

The rules for the Lenten Writing Challenge are yours to adapt.  As an avid journal keeper, I find that having a “prompt” to riff off of is usually helpful.  (This year, I’m also participating in a photo a day challenge, so I’m using the prompts for picture taking as well as!)  The discipline of any daily practice can be confining one day and liberating the next.  I encourage you to expand the comfort zones you have (write one more paragraph, or set the timer to 15 minutes, not 10).

Most days, the writing prompt will be a simple phrase or question.  In my own journaling practice, I draw on the teachings of Natalie Goldberg who sets out some great rules in her books.  The basic idea she offers is to take your intention and set a timer as you follow the prompt.  Get pen in hand and write. Without stopping.  Keep the hand moving.  Take the permission to write the worst crap in the world.  Don’t edit.  No need to cross out, or reread if you’ve got that permission to just be a bad writer.  Let go of control, go for the jugular, get illogical, messy and real with your words.

The purpose of writing practice isn’t to draft up the Pulitzer winning creation.  It’s about letting go of expectations and judgment.  Embracing the thoughts, feelings, words, ramblings, groans and guts that come up.  Practice is detached from the outcome, engaged with the moment.  Consider the rules a bit of structure allowing for the free fall.

Share as you wish on the blog or Facebook Group, and let me know if you’re interested in other on-line support.  I offer 1:1 coaching and groups for self-care and creative exploration.  Later this month I’ll be starting a few on-line classes, too. Feel free to use your intentions and the tools presented here as a guide not a requirement.  And know that the practice doesn’t call for perfection!  Now let’s write!

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