Writing with Spirit | New Monday Evening Workshop Begins Apr 15

“Creativity begins with playfulness.” – Helen Phillips

This is an ongoing series of workshops that begins on Monday, April 15 and meets on the first and third Mondays of each month from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM in Burlington at 110 Main St., Suite 3C (3rd floor).

In this ongoing workshop we’ll engage in the deep writing process. The format is a modification of the Amherst Method developed by Pat Schneider. The Amherst Writers & Artists’ philosophy is a simple one: every person is a writer, and every writer deserves a safe environment in which to experiment, learn, and develop craft. The AWA method is fully described in founder Pat Schneider’s book Writing Alone and With Others.

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Writing with SpiritLet’s take a little time and not worry about how “good” our writing is, not think about whether it is “publishable”, but just write. Letting the words and images, thoughts and ideas flow onto the page without judgment or censorship. Come to the Writing With Spirit workshop every 1st and 3rd Monday evening and write with us.

For me, writing in a group can be one of my most productive times. Everyone is writing, and there is nothing to do but write. I can forget about editing, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and the myriad ways I get distracted at home, and just write. Sticking to the page, allowing the pen to stay on the paper or the fingers on the keys, for a good length of time (at least half an hour), I am usually surprised at what comes out. It may be something I’ll never look at again, or it may work its way into a novel. Other people in my groups usually say the same thing, and, with the nonjudgmental group structure, we find that we can celebrate each person’s unique voice.

Whether describing a frivolous encounter or a life trauma, we mine the words and images embedded in us that are waiting to emerge. Elizabeth Gilbert calls it hidden treasure: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” (Big Magic).

“Writing begins with the breath.” – Laraine Herring

In her book of the same title Herring describes how creative writing is like meditation: it involves the body as well as an open mind. Our creativity is already there, within our cells and our breath. We can find those “strange jewels” through “deep writing,” a practice, like meditation, to tap into the unique inner light of our own creativity.

The Principles of the Deep Writing process:

  • Body Awareness
  • Being with the breath
  • Openness
  • Authenticity
  • Curiosity
  • Courage
  • Acceptance

“…Nancy’s unique focus on spirituality and mindfulness as a component of the writing process produced profound insights for me that continue to be felt in the way I approach writing and my work itself. It was truly a life-changing experience – thank you, Nancy.” – Chris Muniz, Creative Writing faculty, University of Southern California

Nancy Hayes Kilgore, a writer and psychotherapist, is the winner of the Vermont Writers Prize 2016. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her first novel, Sea Level, was a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year. Her most recent novel is Wild Mountain (Green Writers Press, 2017). She is a pastoral psychotherapist and writing coach. Formerly a parish pastor, Nancy leads workshops on writing and spirituality for clergy, therapists, and writers throughout the U.S. She lives in Vermont with her husband, a painter. Learn more at NancyKilgore.com.

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