WELCOME TO THE FREE ONLINE WRITING FROM THE SOUL CIRCLE. Here we share our work with each other, and connect with other kindred writers from all over the globe.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO PRIVACY SETTINGS ON THIS SITE. This means that while only members can comment on each others' work, anything you post here can be seen by anyone in the world (including future employers, clients, family members) and will come up in a Google search. Consider that, and publish only what you don't mind anyone reading. Alternatively, use a pseudonym and be aware of keeping identifying information out of your work.
EACH WEEK, I'LL POST THREE PROMPTS with the times for each. Write yours up, and post it in your writings and then to the group (from the group page, click on the writing tab and you can add it easily under "add writing." I suggest you start a book called "Freewrites from the Soul" and post each freewrite as a chapter. This will make it easier for us to find each other's freewrites among the finished work we might be posting.
IF YOU'RE LEADING AN ONGOING WRITING FROM THE SOUL GROUP (or hosting a spontaneous one with friends), feel free to use the prompts and encourage your members to join and upload their pieces as well. And if you write a finished story, poem or essay from one of these freewrites, it would be great if you would mark it as such so you can inspire others to do the same. Those you publish unedited here, please mark as "spontaneous unedited freewrite."
HERE'S A QUICK REMINDER OF THE WRITING FROM THE SOUL PRINCIPLES:
1-Don’t think. Just write. Keep the pen or keyboard moving.
2-Be sloppy and break all of the rules you learned in high school English class.
3-Don’t listen to your inner editor and critic.
4-At any time in the timed writing, you can change the prompt to: “What I really want to write about is….”
5-When it’s your turn to read, go slow and listen closely to yourself. (And read out loud to yourself when you are writing alone!)
6-When it’s your turn to listen or read another's piece, notice what strikes you, what moves you, what phrases or images stay with you. Remember them, or jot them down. (This is what we give as feedback.)
7-We avoid evaluative comments, both positive or negative.
WHY NO POSITIVE FEEDBACK? If someone says, “That was amazing! I loved it!” It might feel good in the moment, but it’s a drug. If no one says that about your next piece, you’ll start to wonder why. In this circle, we are cultivating an extreme indifference to praise and blame, and to do that we have to first give up the habit of relying on praise for validation. Instead of vague opinions, we are given a feel for the places where our language was memorable or evocative or moved people. That’s much more useful information. As a bonus, being in an atmosphere of non-evaluation can be such a relief: it’s easier to relax and open together.
I SUGGEST that when you post your freewrite, you remind people to be non-evaluative in the author's note to reviewers. You can also direct us to what you're interested in hearing about for feedback. If you aren't sure what to ask for, try asking people to freewrite a response using the prompt, "Your writing reflects the part of my soul that..." Or ask them to choose a line from the piece that they find evocative, and freewrite from it in response to the work.
TO GET SUGGESTIONS ON CRAFT OR OTHER IN-DEPTH FEEDBACK, I suggest you choose a specific writer from the circle who you resonate with and invite them to exchange work.
IF YOU'D LIKE TO START A WRITING FROM THE SOUL GROUP, pop me an email. Guidelines for facilitators are under development, but meanwhile, I'm happy to give you some tips.
AND VISIT MY WEBSITE, flamingseed.com, for more on Writing from the Soul as well as other writing circles and classes happening now or coming up. You'll also find information on the services I offer writers--coaching, book editing, design and self-publishing.
And please contact me here (flamingseed) or through the flamingseed.com website with your suggestions for these forums as well as for other Writing from the Soul activities or classes you'd like to see happen.