Welcome to The Other Mother,
a writing workshop for moms.
This isn't your typical blog. It's a mini-workshop, a chance to write about your own choices in motherhood, and tell your own stories. Please feel free to read others' comments, consider them posts, and reply (see guidelines, if you please). It's your turn to tell your story. Or, make one up.
I'm going to post writing topics, and you should feel free to post your responses (edited or fresh from the fingers) under comments. I look forward to hearing from you, welcome!
If you are new to this online writing workshop, I recommend these four posts to get you familiar with how it works.
Introduction to The Other Mother,
a writing workshop for moms
- Part 1 ...
Welcome! About the writing workshop
You can post your writings on this site. Think of it as a group blog, or a mini-publication if you want, think of it as a chance to post your experiences and hear someone else’s, whether the stories you tell are fictional or autobiographical. Read more about the writing workshop.
- Part 2 ...
Rules for writing practice
Anyway, use these whenever you practice writing -- that is, make a first draft, respond to a topic, write about whatever it is you've been trying to write about. I find it very freeing to think through all of them, and then do the not-thinking work of drafting, giving myself permission just to go, go, go. Read more about the rules for writing practice. You can also read more about "the rules" below.
- Part 3 ...
Come write! Creating inventories
One of the things we do periodically in Just Write (and I’m sure I’ve done it in workshops as a student as well) is to take inventories. This can be a character inventory (all made up) or it can be your own, or something in-between. Read more about creating inventories.
- Part 4 ...
How to post your writing
To post your work on a writing topic, click on comments, and cut and paste your work into a comment. Read more about posting on Typepad.
I teach a writing workshop called Just Write, and here are some of "the rules" (guidelines for writing practice) that we follow. You can read more about this in my blog post called The Rules. These rules are adapted from Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind and Writing Down the Bones as well as from the writer's lunchtime workshop at the San Diego Writing Center that was led by Judy Reeves; Judy is now the organizer of San Diego Writers, Ink.
- Keep your fingers moving.
Just start. Don’t edit, that comes later.
- Let go of the wheel.
Don’t worry about being polite; don’t worry about what people will think. Forget about punctuation, grammar, and spelling. Just write.
- Use your
The more specific your description, the more real your invented world becomes.
- Don't stop to think.
Let it happen as you go. Don’t worry whether it will be good; if you don’t write anything, the quality won’t matter. Write now, worry later.
- Go for the marrow.
If you don’t write the real stuff — not the facts, but the truths — you won’t believe what you’ve written and neither will your reader.
- No crossing out.
It slows you down.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg. “Many of the rules for good writing and good sex are the same: Keep your hand moving, lose control, and don't think. Goldberg brings a touch of both Zen and well... *eroticism* to her writing practice, the latter in exercises and anecdotes designed to ease you into your body, your whole spirit, while you create, the former in being where you are, working with what you have, and writing from the moment.” — from the Amazon review.
A Writer's Book of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves. “Musicians practice. Athletes practice. And so, too, argues Judy Reeves, should writers practice. Her Writer's Book of Days provides a writing prompt for each day of the year, and then some: "Write about a time someone said yes"; "Write about leaving"; "Something seemed different." The more you practice, says Reeves, the more you write. And writing from a prompt, she adds, is like having "someone provide the music when you want to dance." The prompts are the backbone of this book, but its pages are fleshed out with advice, inspiration, quotations from writers, encouragement, and a profusion of literary tidbits. Write from the senses, Reeves recommends. Audition words. Take risks.” — from the Amazon review.
Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg. “"Natalie Goldberg, author of the bestselling Writing Down The Bones, teaches a method of writing that can take you beyond craft to the true source of creative power: The mind that is "raw, full of energy, alive and hungry." Here is compassionate, practical, and often humorous advice about how to find time to write, how to discover your personal style, how to make sentences come alive, and how to overcome procrastination and writer's block -- including more than thirty provocative "Try this" exercises to get your pen moving. And here also is a larger vision of the writer's task: balancing daily responsibilities with a commitment to writing; knowing when to take risks as a writer and a human being; coming to terms with success and failure and loss; and learning self-acceptance -- both in life and art. Wild Mind will change your way of writing. It may also change your life.” — from the Amazon review.