Happy Friday! Happy New Year!
The year started off with a bang for me because the Word of the Day Club began on Monday. During the half-hour meeting, we completed a powerful exercise in which we stated our goals for the year. Then using the Word of the Day Practice, we each found a new pathway to improving our writing and writing schedule.
To begin the Practice, we did a basic opening stretch, inhaling, lifting our arms above our heads and spreading our fingers, imagining that we were gathering beautiful gold energy, then brought our arms down slowly to create resistance, exhaling and creating a self-hug, imagining that all of the energy we had gathered flowing throughout our body, especially into our hearts. Next, we reversed the process by raising our arms as we clasped our hands and turned them palm up, eyes looking up. As we inhaled, we imagined all of the ugly stuff we were carrying inside rising up and out of us as we exhaled, releasing the yucky stuff as we slowly brought our arms down. We repeated the process three times. Inhale up and gather. Exhale. Inhale up, pull everything up through your system, and release. Relax, and repeat two more times. The stretch gave us all a feeling of peace. Then we worked on our Word of the Day.
The exercise was to find a word that suggested where improvements in the writing process could be made. Asking a question in a positive way opens the door to solutions. It’s harder to criticize yourself when you are looking for a solution to a problem than when analyzing why you have it in the first place.
For example, my word was “precision.” When I brainstormed around that word, it took me to an understanding that what I needed to do in order to be precise was to move more slowly. The phrase that came out of the additional cluster was, “Slow down time.” Better than any New Year’s resolution because it came from my creative self. I have been consciously applying that in every circumstance, and I’m finding that I am pleased with my improved behavior.
Another student wanted to improve her storytelling skills and create more “dangling threads” for the plot of her script. Brainstorming around the word, “Dangle,” she realized that she needed a new approach: Instead of thinking up ideas, she needed to weave a web to interconnect her characters.
After this morning’s Word of the Day Practice, I am convinced, more than ever, about the power of this technique. The close connection that we all feel at the end of the half-hour session is both to each other and to that inner part of ourselves where originality lives.
The Next Word of the Day Webinar
Please feel free to join us for the next webinar on January 18 at 7:00 pm EST via Zoom. Let me know if you would like to attend and I’ll send you an invite.
The Marilyn Horowitz Screenwriting Award
Professor Marilyn Horowitz has long been a champion of writers and is pleased to announce her new award, entitled The Marilyn Horowitz / PANO Screenwriting Award – intended to support a promising woman or non-binary screenwriter with a strong original voice to reach the next level. It is her goal that this $5,000 unrestricted cash prize will propel the writer forward in their craft and career. Applicants must have written at least two completed feature film screenplays. Included in the submission fee is 1 full year of membership to PANO – with their job listings, events and networking!
3 Winners will be announced and, weather and safety permitting, an awards event will be held in NYC in May 2023. Learn more and apply before January 31 here:
Happy New Year! What did you just start doing, stop doing, pledge to align with, finally declare, reveal at last, let go for good? New Year’s Day is famous for being a day of intentions for change. Solstices, same potency. Even GroundHog Day has us looking for a sign to take or not take an action, guided by a small animal’s awareness.
Since we naturally use holidays to stretch into something new, let’s make every day a holiday! Let’s grow a little every day, and make it fun – it’s a holiday after all.
Holiday + Daily = HoliDaily. HoliDaily is a humorous personal growth holiday for each day of the year, and is delivered by email. More information is found here: https://www.
The Art of Getting Art – Starts JAN 9
Gene is offering to share his course with my newsletter subscribers for 50% off! More information is found here:
The Art of Getting Art
Use the coupon code “50%OFF” at checkout.
Enjoy all these opportunities!
Here’s to your successful writing,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz