I taught a workshop last called "Why We Write." It was through So Say We All. I LOVED it! I had no idea how to approach the subject so I came up with a list of questions about the stories that affected us as children, the writers we turn to, and a few other questions. I didn't know if the process would work but at the end it was pretty interesting to see how the questions answered the "Why We Write" question without actually having to answer the question outright. At the end of the workshop I did another exercise, writing from a place of "as if." This is an exercise I've done in my own life, in meditation and other practice. Act as if what you want has already happened. I had the participants write themselves letters as if they were their own biggest fan, in the future, writing to tell the author why their work was so meaningful to them. (For example: Dear Lizz, thank you for writing the **** trilogy. Your main character reminded me so much of myself; seeing her on her journey changed. . . ) I almost cried several times when people read their letters aloud. I love teaching workshops, I forget I've been writing a very long time and that I have a lot to share about the process.
I've been starting my mornings every day with poetry. I make a pot of coffee in the French press, sit in my office in the morning light and read. I've been reading Rilke, Rumi, Harjo, Cernuda, Whitman, Cervantes, writers who uplift me and remind me to live my day with a certain type of grace. I recommend starting the day with poetry.
Heading out to Vancouver in a couple of weeks and I'm pretty damn excited.