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

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At the last Writing From Nature on February 15, at Incarnation Center in Deep River/Ivoryton, Connecticut, none of us knew that in less than a month the pandemic of Covid-19 would shut us away from each other for a while. I value that day even more now. Use the tools from  Writing from Nature to generate new writing during the quarantine.

Many years ago, in the days after my father died, I felt this tremendous push, to start writing stories. I knew I was a writer, but I was not writing from my own ideas then.

I started by picking up a book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way. Cameron tells us to write three pages in a notebook every day, no matter how difficult. Cameron’s methods don’t all speak to me, but this one cemented the habit of regular writing, and I have been working on spiral bound notebooks ever since. Sometimes all I manage in the notebook is a line or two or simply opening up the old cover to say hi.

Some years before all this, I had met myself in the mountains.My husband and I and two friends quit our jobs and sublet our apartments to hike from Georgia to Maine for four and a half months. I was 28. This was the first time I had ever broken out from society’s expectations.

,Walking alone takes me to who I really am and makes it possible to write originally. If the prose isn’t supposed to smile, it doesn’t. But I have to trudge through the woods first.

I have found that even in the press of earning a living, I can steal an hour out of the beginning of the day. After the first half-hour walking on a leafy path, the demands of the world I take too seriously begin to fade. Then the person I can’t normally hear visits me and tells me what to write.

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

For more information:

chris@chriswoodside.com

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