Can a Morning Writer Become an Afternoon Writer?

by Ann E. Carson, A Response to blog on Writing Routines

Increasing eye problems mean for me shorter stints at the computer and devising an entirely new morning routine. Can a morning person – i.e., one whose best time for creative work is early in the day – become an afternoon person? Does unraveling the different phases of creative work really need that early morning energy and burst of insight? What can be assigned to after lunch? But there are days when I need a nap. If I work in the afternoon when will I see friends or do all the pesky afternoon jobs like banking and cooking? Daytime work seeps into the evenings.

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The Book of Joy

The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu are creating The Book of Joy— and they need your brain power to do it!  For the first time ever, these two great visionaries want to write a book not only for all of us, but with all us.
They are soliciting your questions about how to live with joy.  Archbishop Tutu states: “Research shows the power of collective intelligence. Together, we can write a guide to joy that will be passed down from generation to generation. ”  Submit your question.

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Writing Exercise

In the book reviewed below, Pat Schneider presents one of her favourite writing exercises. First, we begin with the instruction to imagine a doorway, or a breakfast table, or a hallway. Second, we are asked to address three questions: “ What is the quality of the light? Where is the light coming from?” And then, “Is anyone nearby or are we alone?” Finally, we are to write what we see and then follow where the writing leads.schneiderhow light

Book Review

How the light gets in: Writing as a spiritual practice.

Pat Schneider; New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Pat Schneider, longtime writer and teacher of writing, is known as author of the classic guide for beginning and expert writers, writing alone or in writing groups — The Writer as an Artist: A New Approach to Writing Alone and With Others. She founded the training programs and website known as Amherst Writers & Artists.

The purpose of [AWA] workshops is on the one hand to affirm that art belongs to all people, and all people are capable of creating art with words, and on the other hand to affirm writing as a powerful methodology for healing and empowerment.

In this book, we learn much about Schneider’s professional and especially her personal life as she records her own hero’s journey. Her theme is taken from Canadian singer Leonard Cohen [“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”]. She committed to writing as a spiritual practice to create the volume. She delved for the cracks in her life – writing through them repeatedly to learn the lessons associated with her difficult childhood (poverty, absent father, alcoholic mother, a period in an orphanage followed by living with her mother, separation from brother) and the ways in which her adult life was impacted by her early life. Experiences of old age (e.g., loss of loved ones, broken hip) raise the old ghosts as well as new concerns through which she writes.

We are treated to inspiring quotations from authors such as Gandhi, Dillard, Whitman, Milosz, Swenson, Eliot, and Coleridge. We see the impact of specific writing prompts which drew out the author’s new understandings, often in a supportive writing group. Moreover, her experiences often press her for expression through poetry – accessible poems which expose cracks through which light gets in.

For the full book review, click here  Ryan15-Schneider13HowLightGetsInWritSpir .

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With this shadow photo, I bid you adieu

Ellen