Writing Circles and Book Groups
How to start a creative community using the Writing as a Path to Awakening book
I encourage readers and writers to reach out to other writers as well as people in your community who are interested in writing at all levels, to let them know you are starting a writing circle around the new book Writing as a Path to Awakening. Let them know the circle will include meditation & mindfulness practices, writing prompts, sharing and discussion. You can use the exercises and meditations from the book or create some variations of your own. Remember these circles or groups are meant to be generative gatherings meant to inspire and support the creation of new work, as opposed to critique groups where you are evaluating each other’s existing work. Which isn’t to say that the group can’t evolve into something different, but that’s the initial suggestion.
1. I suggest doing a 12 week series for the 12 chapters of the book or a year-long program for 12 months. You can meet once a month or compress it to six months and meet two times a month
2. Make the meetings special by serving food and drink. Engage your participants and rotate jobs so you as the organizer don’t get saddled with always hosting. Ask for commitment and create guidelines so that people show up consistently and actively participate.
3. Include time to share your work with each other in an open, curious, deep-listening, and supportive manner. Avoid getting into critique mode or even making suggestions for improvement. Most of these exercises are designed to be spontaneous quick freewrites and not sculpted final pieces. Which isn’t to say you won’t end up writing some very compelling powerful work. You will at times. The intention is to celebrate whatever arises, to support and encourage each other along the way.
4. Most importantly have fun connecting in a creative community, and enjoy the practice and process!
LIVE AUTHOR WORKSHOPS
I am available to visit your group LIVE here on the West Coast or via ZOOM to run a first workshop, help facilitate a circle, or simply visit your group for reading, book signings, Q&A or discussion.
Please contact me to discuss logistics and fees. Email owlassistant(at)gmail.com to schedule, and if you have any additional questions about setting up your writing circle or book group.