Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time. . . We must prime it with a little solitude and idleness.

Brenda Ueland

The next one-day Writing from Nature workshop takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on February 15, 2020 at Incarnation Center in Deep River, Connecticut. (Very near the village of Ivoryton.)

Cost is $50. I donate 10% to Incarnation Camp scholarships.

To sign up, send an email to I will help you with the rest.

Many years ago, I attended my first writers’ conference. One of the writers teaching a course read a draft I sent ahead. Her first words to me as we met to discuss it were: “It’s no good.”

Now, this famous writer did hold out hope for my project. I stayed with her. I was sitting on a big rock on a campus not far from here. She had some good advice. I struggled to hear it. The “It’s no good” stuck with me, and I stopped working on that project and didn’t attend another writers’ workshop for ten years.

I finally realized that I had hoped she could look beyond my early draft and pull myself out of myself. Only I could do that.

She was brusque, and that didn’t work for me, but the real lesson here was that I needed to convene closely with my own ideas. I needed someone to help me do that. No one emerged at the time.

I probably had showed the famous writer my draft before I knew what I wanted to do with the story. Or I had picked the wrong writer to approach. I will say I felt lost. The story I wanted to write meant the world to me: it was a narrative of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike when I was 28. Many years after my aborted attempt to write about that long hike, I finally knew what I wanted to do and published “Four Quartets and Eight Legs.”

It didn’t have to be so painful. That’s why I lead workshops.

Writers are born, and then made. We are compelled to write. Writing usually chooses the writer; it feels like a calling. Writing is a solitary job but requires a community to thrive. We face this paradox every working day. We need a strong community. We need the right community.

At times the unknown judgements of the public, the editors, the literary agents, the mothers and fathers can slow down or halt progress.

That’s why I started Writing from Nature. My workshops are tailored to the way I felt as a new writer. I encourage new ideas without judgement. I help you become your best selves. The noise of the literary world can intrude on our particular voices. Of course, other published writers also inspire us, and genres of writing provide a place for us to land as we make our writing careers.

Writing from Nature

Every child begins the world again, to some extent, and loves to stay outdoors, even in wet and cold.

Henry David Thoreau

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