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I like to write. As Flannery O’Connor once stated, I write to know what I am thinking. What I have learned over the past several years, is that I am fueled to write deeper more honest words when I am writing with other women.

What does that look like, you may wonder.

Heidi's journal

My journal

I facilitate a circle for women on Wednesday nights for an hour and a half, and we write. I find that this fuels my personal writing, as during circle, I am able to check in on the page, respond to prompts, and in the process I burn off the top 500 layers. There have been so many evenings when I return home, say hello to my people, tuck in my boys, and then sit down and continue pouring my heart on the page.

To be clear, I am not writing a novel, I am simply writing to write… to get it off my chest and out of my head–all those thoughts, feelings, all the processing I do intentionally and unintentionally throughout my day, through conversations, meetings, other circles, etc. Writing is how I know what I think, what conclusions I’ve come to; it is where I process my thoughts.

I can get there from writing for three minutes on “window”, which was one of our prompts last week:

He sat in my chair with the light from the window at his back. The gauzy curtain with circles allowing the overcast sky’s dim light to eek into the dining room. he set up his station, opened the first bag of popsicle sticks, found the glue gun, plugged it in, set the base on a top of white paper towels, and began. Scorching his fingers only twice and not badly. His attention to detail slays me. He placed the glue gun, when not in use, on a small square of cardboard. My dad would do that. My son has so much of my dad in him. I need to be sure to tell him so.

What came from this short prompt brought me to the edge of tears unexpectedly, but I needed to go there. I needed to feel the burn in my throat because I had pushed aside the need for release and redemption.

I write to be reminded to cry, to feel, and to remember all the stories I contain. I write to be reminded to talk to my children about my stories; to tell my husband my stories–to pass along who I am in bite sized moments where I breathed, lived, and loved.

If you are interested in joining a writing circle whether as a one-time thing or for an ongoing series, let me know. I’d love to have you!