Archive for The Artist’s Way

You may be right. I may be crazy.

Today is the first day of my participation in the 500-Words-a-Day-for-31-Days Challenge.

How many words is that so far? Tee-hee. Just kidding.

I confess that I’m not completely looking forward to this project. It’s kind of daunting, although parts of it will be great, I’m sure. And some parts, I imagine, will be excruciating. I’m trying to think of it , though, like all those Morning Pages I did when I was teaching The Artist’s Way so frequently. No matter how I feel, no matter much or how little I think I have to write about, no matter the time constraints on my day, no matter what my energy level is, whether emotional, psychic, mental, spiritual, or physical, I’m going to do this. And I’m going to do it every single day!

Except for the days I don’t.

But don’t worry… Making that statement doesn’t diminish my enthusiasm or willingness to write every day. It’s just my way of making a full out commitment and still being gentle with myself because life does happen, as they say.

I can hear some people now saying now, “What? Are you crazy? You’re going to try to do that, too, with all the other things you’ve got going on?” And to that, I’d have to say, “Maybe I am!” There’s certainly a lot of evidence to that fact. But this is something I really want to do, and I think it will be good for me. Not in the way that taking medicine is good for me (except on those excruciating days, maybe), but good in the way that it will be empowering and enlivening, rich and elevating. Plus, I think it’ll really help me with this whole blogging thing. I really want to get in the habit of writing to you, as well as sharing my photographs with you. And yet another reason to honor this commitment (to myself), is that if I’m not creative, I can get really cranky!

OK. Now I really do want to know how many words. Whoa – 339 already! Oh, that is so cool! I thought it was going to be 110 or maybe 125, but something really low like that.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. 🙂

I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up about all the things following through on this writing commitment could do for me, but I admit that there’s a part of me that’s thinking it’s going to be a piece of cake and really pay off.

Then why am I even telling you about it? Because it’ll help me actually do it, easy or not. Like having a good coach gives my clients accountability for doing the things they want to do, you will serve as accountability for me here.

But, just to be clear, you don’t get to check in with me every 5 minutes about it, OK? And don’t expect new blog posts every day or even every other day, either. Some of the stuff I write will be for my eyes only.

Speaking of accountability, I know it helps to have a friend join in on activities like this, so I think I’ll ask my friend and web goddess, Suzanne Bird-Harris, to join me. I think she’ll enjoy it and get some good stuff out of it, too. And maybe she could stop having to pay for a hotel room, which she sometimes has to do to get some peace and quiet in order to be able to write. (Now that’s dedication to one’s craft!) Plus she’s fun and she’ll both kick my butt if I need it and love me at the same time.

Don’t you want to do it, too? I’d love to have you along for the ride and hear how it goes for you. If you’re thinking “yes, that’s for me,” just go to this link and read all about it. He’s makes a good and inviting case. And, in the event that we get stuck, he even gives us writing prompts.

Here’s a little aside… Where writing prompts are concerned, there’s this really cool book filled with them called “A Writer’s Book of Days” by the talented writer Judy Reeves. I recommend it highly because, even if you aren’t a book addict like I am, there’s just a lot of really helpful stuff in it, even in addition to a prompt a day for 365 days.

Well, would you look at that? 738!

Now, I’d love to keep writing to you, especially since I’m on such a roll, but Jeff says that no matter how many words we write in one day, we still have to write 500 words the next day. And I know what it’s like to go to the gym after a long absence and work out like a maniac, trying to get a head start, or make up for lost time, or both. I also know what it’s like to not be able to go back to the gym for a week because I shot my wad on that first day. Maybe you’ve experienced this, too.

So, in order not to overdo it today, because I do want to come back to my writing tomorrow, I’m going to wrap this thing up. And maybe I’ll see you tomorrow with another post. But remember, don’t you count on it. I’d hate to disappoint you, but I will if I have to.

I am the main one I’m hoping not to disappoint in this endeavor. Wish me luck.

(And that’s 921!)

Rita Doing Some Writing on Retreat at the Farm

OH – IMPORTANT NOTE: The picture you see here is of my friend Rita, who came down from Chicago for the most recent retreat at my farm, Brinson’s Race. Here, she’s doing some writing, facing the growing cotton field, with my dog Little Bit at her back, protecting her from squirrels.

Doesn’t it look inviting? Wouldn’t you like to spend some time there? Or would you prefer to be doing your writing facing the pecan orchard? Or maybe in the woods, by what we call the little pond? Regardless of your preference, you can.

Want to know how and when? Read on…

I have set aside the weekends of September 26, October 10, November 7, and even December 12, as potential dates for delivering retreats at Brinson’s Race. The title and subject of the retreats will be Creating A Wholehearted Life: The Daring Way™. It’s Brené Brown‘s most recent program, and brilliantly covers all of her research up to now, through video, discussion, and rich, experiential exercises.

Of course, you could enroll in an in-person group and enjoy the experience over a couple of months. And if you want to do that, just go to this link and sign up.

Or, if you’d rather dive into the work all at once, while in a beautiful, bucolic setting, go to this (same) page.

Either way, head on over to this page on the True Voices website, and check it out.

FYI – The only retreat that is listed on that page is the one in September. If you are interested in one of the other dates, please just give me a holler at 404.296.8221, fill out the contact form on this website, or write me directly at Laura (at) TrueVoices (dot) com.

Talk to you very soon, I hope!

Love,
Laura

PS My gratitude, admiration, and apologies to the great Billy Joel regarding the title to this post. 🙂

What’s in a Name? Or, Why “Lala Land”?

Hello, my lovely,

Welcome to the place on my blog where you’ll find letters from me to you!  And now, to get us started, a little about the name of this category of posts…

As you may already know, the name I was given at birth was Laura Luck Overstreet.  I was named for my Great Aunt, Laura Jean Adams, although I never once heard her called that.  I only heard her greeted or referred to by her nickname, “Dimples.”  In addition to having a great smile, she was one brave lady, my “Aunt Dimps.”  Although she has been gone many, many years now, I still count her among those on my “Inner Board of Directors.”  She had countless interesting adventures, including serving in the Army Nurse Corps, in North Africa, during WWII.  That would be quite a job and a trek for me, even now, a grown “city girl,” in the “new millenium;” but for a “county girl” from Lavonia, Georgia, in the early 1940s, I’m sure it was nearly unheard of!  See why I still “call on her” for advice?

My middle name came from my mother, whose name at birth was Mary Annette Luck.  She never knew her father, Paul Booth Luck, but she chose to honor him and her heritage by giving me this name, too.  And I have always worn it proudly, and my mother set that example early.  When I was a little girl, and people heard my full name, they would often comment, “Laura Luck – how cute,” to which my mother would almost always reply, “It’s not cute.  It’s family!”

Whether family or cute, or both, it was a lot of name for a little girl.  Even when shortened to Laura Overstreet, it was a mouthful.  So, as kids often do, I shortened it even further, and for the longest time, when asked my name, I replied with pride, “Lala O’teet!”

Now, zoom forward with me about 25 or 30 years.  When I discovered the book, The Artist’s Way, and began doing art of all kinds, it was my “little girl” inside that was doing it, or at least helping the rest of my have permission to do so.  She is a part of me that is creative, curious, loving and awe-inspired.  And so, even though I, my adult, am the one writing these letters to you, I am giving her a nod, thanking her, and letting you know that no matter where I live, or what I am writing about, it will always be from Lala Land!

Be good to yourself today, and don’t forget to ask your “little girl” what she has to say.  My guess is that it’s quite a lot!

Much love,
Laura

 

PS Are you wondering about what this picture has to do with this post? I’ll tell you! Sometimes people say that when I’m in Lala Land, it’s because my head is in the clouds. What’s your version of Lala Land?