Happy Friday! We deserve some nice weather after all this rain!
WORD OF THE DAY WEBINAR-October 4
The Wednesday night Word of the Day Webinar was well-attended and fun. We focused on using the Practice to explore a character we had trouble developing.
One student realized that a character he’d thought was a mean trickster was actually a kindly mentor. Another student discovered that she needed to add a matriarchal character who cooked for her family and used the dishes she concocted to share the wisdom that would help them through the dire circumstances of the story. Another discovered that her character’s confusion was really an unwillingness to see the truth, and this information inspired her to add a plot twist that will really elevate the story! Very exciting!
Please join me for the next webinar on October 18 at 7:00 p.m. EST via Zoom. You can register here.
I had an insight this week that really helped me. It came when I was dancing with my teacher, Val, at Fred Astaire Studios while working on one aspect of my tango.
“Val, I feel that I don’t stretch enough when I’m dancing. I’m giving 95% but not 100%. I know that this is a defense. I’m a recovering perfectionist, and somehow, if I don’t try fully, if I fail, it’s not so bad.”
“I get that, but if you want to be 100%, you have to aim for 110%.”
“But I’ve always aimed for exactly 100%.”
“Someone gave you bad information. You have to prepare and aim before you begin.”
I formed a clear intention to take each step fully, and my dancing improved immediately!
I wondered how this piece of wisdom (give 110% to get 100%) could apply to writing, and what struck me was that sometimes we don’t warm up physically before we write. In my Word of the Day seminars, we always warm up and focus. It’s brief and very effective.
Here are the steps:
1. Form the intention that you will bring yourself into readiness. Mentally state what you want to accomplish in this writing session.
2. Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth, inhaling for four beats, then exhaling for four beats. Repeat this three times.
3. Rub your hands together until they’re warm.
4. Place them over your eyes and forehead and allow your face to relax. Let your chin gently relax towards your chest.
5. Rock back and forth on your sit bones if you’re in a chair.
6. Notice how you are supported by your feet on the floor and by your sit bones on the chair. Let your neck and shoulders release.
7. Gently stretch your arms up over your head, then rock back and forth.
8. After 3 to 5 rotations, lower your arms, put your hands on your knees, and rock gently.
8. Repeat the opening eight-count breath three times.
9. Smile gently to yourself.
10. Give yourself some credit and get to work.
This is the missing 10% that you can add to your writing process. It’s not trying harder or spending more time writing; it’s forming a clear intention and relaxing yourself BEFORE you begin!
Ballroom Basix is a fabulous organization that goes into inner-city schools to teach middle school kids non-competitive partner dancing. Children explore a variety of dances that open their minds to the cultural diversity of their communities and foster multi-cultural respect, cooperation, and camaraderie in the ballroom, classrooms, homes, and neighborhoods. Whether or not you can come to the gala, which is a fun event, please consider offering your support for this amazing program.
Here’s to your writing success,
Professor Marilyn Horowitz