Note: This information is both a repeat of a previous post about Sift with new information about the upcoming group.
For many many years I’ve been fortunate enough to practice something called Wild Writing with Laurie Wagner. Each Friday morning when we’re in session I pack up my notebook and drive to Alameda where myself and a handful of other women gather around her dining room table and spend two hours in practice.
I wish every woman in every community had a regular Wild Writing group. It feeds such a potent mix of hungers. The hunger for connection, for truth, for hearing your own voice, for laughter, for space and slowing down, for time away from screens, for emotional release, for permission to be imperfect, for inspiration and new discovery. For me, it’s often been a powerful support to my mental health. I could go on and on.
For a long time I felt the call to lead my own group in my own version of this practice and so last year I finally did.
I called it Sift: a writing practice for being human.
And for six weeks in 2017, myself and a table full of brave women met weekly and let this practice feed us.
Before I get to the details of the next Sift group, let me tell you a little bit about what this practice looks like and who I’m inviting to join me.
This is a practice. Like yoga or painting, it’s about showing up and being willing meet yourself where you are.
This is not for people who want to be better writers (though you can want that too), it’s not for professional writers (though you can be that too), it’s not really about the writing at all. It’s about what this practice helps us access and about doing it together. You need no prior experience to participate. Just a willingness to show up and be honest.
Personally, I practice to tell the truth, to be human with other humans, to hear my stories, to make sense of myself and the world around me, to make space for my contradictions, to find the words, to reveal, to relax, and to be a little messy.
The practice essentially goes like this:
You’ll arrive. Settle in. I’ll read a poem and when I’m done I’ll pick a line or two for us to use as our writing prompt.
Then we’ll write, unedited, pen to paper, not stopping for 10 to 20 minutes. We don’t try to sound smart. We don’t try to write well. This practice serves to help us get around our perfectionist and performer. This practice helps us tell the truth on the page so we can tell the truth in the rest of our lives.
When the time is up we go around (myself included) and read our writing. No feedback is given. We don’t discuss what’s written. We just witness each other. Sometimes there is laughter. Sometimes there are tears. It’s all welcome.
Then we repeat.
If it sounds simple, it is. It’s also profound.
If it sounds exhilarating but also scary. You’re not alone.
If this calls to you, raise your hand.
The first run of Sift met locally at my home in the heart of San Francisco. I’ve since moved to a new home in Oakland (near the Oakland Zoo) not centrally located or near public transit. If there is interest from at least 5-6 local women I will run the group locally. If not or if there is overwhelming interest for a virtual Sift group I will run it virtually on a video conferencing platform.
It’s a choose your own adventure.
UPDATE (1/8): I have enough interest to run the group locally/in-person — though still have a few spots available.
I’m aiming to run this next group on Wednesdays from January 24th – March 28th (not meeting February 28th) from 10 am-noon PST. The cost to participate for the eight weeks is $300.
If you’re interested drop me an email ASAP.