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January Update

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Dear Wonderful Writing Mamas,

I have been trying to listen my inner voice to hear where I should go with this group. When I originally started, I imagined it as an ongoing writing board where we would simply free write and share. It got a bit more complicated as we included feedback and started to talk about finished pieces.

I am either going to go back to the original formula or turn the group over to someone else to moderate. I will keep you posted within the next week.

All blessings,
post #2 of 25


My name is Jodee and although I have not posted ( I've been having trouble gaining access to this ) I've been following the group since week 5 or 6. Tanya, I wanted to let you know I am grateful for what you are doing with this group and the assignments. This work is very special and means a lot to myself and obviously many other mothers. The assignments have been very important and lent focus to my life. I just wanted to say thank-you for all of your loving energy into this circle. Much love, peace, and blessings, Jodee.
post #3 of 25
I am so grateful for your working with this group, and would be sad to see you go. I enjoyed the assignments as a kind of jumping-off place, and would very much like to go back to the original formula where there were several topics per week from which to choose (or not).

I also want to thank you for introducing me to Natalie Goldberg's writings. Reading her Waking up in America, I feel I have met someone woven from similar threads. (I am reading it slowly because I never want to finish.)

Again, thank you for all you have done.
post #4 of 25
Tanya, I would also like to thank you for what you have given me with your moderation of this group. You have inspired and enlightened me in so many ways. You helped writing consume me again. You opened up a whole new realm for me with your guidance. Besides your self, You gave me two new teachers: Anne Lammott and Natalie Goldberg, Thank you! Your words of wisdom and gentle direction are truly a gift. Thanks again for the awe inspiring energy you have given us! I am so grateful for you...okay, not to give you a guilt trip or anything, or try to sway you to stay with the group, if that's not what you feel comfortable with...even if you don't continue with the group, i will remember you as the person who gave me that puff of air, that breathe of life, to stimulate the second wind, the second round--the catalyst that made me realize--oh yes, i'm a bit of a perfectionist, and yes I need to let go, and yes, oh my goodness, does it feel gooood to write!...many thanks, and much respect.
post #5 of 25

Thanks so much for everything you've been doing... including sharing your current feelings on this with us so that we can respond (and hopefully sway you in one direction or another!)

For me, I couldn't find time to do all of the assignments, but I really loved doing the ones I could find time doing. Some of them I was comfortable getting feedback on and occasionally if that wasn't the case, I posted that warning. I think we're a good group that can honor those wishes.

Something you might not realize (or maybe you do) is that we all have different things we're looking to get out of this. For me, it is simply getting back to when writing was an emotional outlet for me. I have been published; I have done some level of writing for a living (albeit not creative writing)... The only writing I have plans to do for the world to see are those that require research--not those that explore my feelings. So for me, this is release. And it's a release that I lost touch with for years, but desperately needed to get back to because it worked. Your assignments allowed me to pick a topic and tap into what I was feeling somewhere inside that I had buried and was probably waiting to cause me an ulcer...

So I do hope you will continue with this. I need it! I need you!
post #6 of 25
Tanya, you knucklehead! (I';m using my REAL voice here)

What the heck are you thinking?

I love this group! I like feedback, and I know that isn't something YOU enjoy us doing. However, I've learned soooo much from you and from reading others work. I need a bit of structure and this is it!

Reconsider! WE appreciate your time and trouble and want your expertise.

post #7 of 25
ITA with everyone else's sentiments.

I also am wondering what was so wrong about the feedback? You really seem tp have issues with it. Perhaps if you shared your goals relating to the feedback, that would help us out a bit.

post #8 of 25
I've loved this group, you know this group is what sucked me in to MDC in the first place. I NEED the assignments and I've enjoyed the feedback, but I think I understand Tanya why you don't like it. Your post from the Natalie Goldberg book helped me with that. It's too easy (for me at least) to write FOR the feedback instead of writing what I need to write; too easy to give into the voice that says "unless someone else validates it, it's not any good". It's also too easy to feel like you HAVE to give feedback sometimes just in case someone's feelings could get hurt if you don't. All this can be quite distracting from the writing, but some of the feedback can be quite constructive and useful too. Leave the feedback for a seperate thread or PMs if you must but PLEASE continue to gently guide us. I'd still like to see your feedback on a piece sometime, maybe we'll better understand what kind of feedback you were hoping for when you opened the forum up for it. It's been so wonderful to see everyone's take on the assignments and to have a safe place that isn't just writing into the void, and it's been lovely to have such an array of topics to dwell on. It's such a blessing to know that I'm not alone in my writing or some of my experiences and I think it is a much more intimate setting here then just having a tribe for writers. I feel I get to know people here and that they are on the journey with me as we do the assignments together...........kind of like a really good class that you'd be sorry to see end and you'd so miss the teacher and all the other students........
post #9 of 25
Thank you for sharing that bit of insight viola.

I can see npw why too.
I also just wanted to add that this whole experience for me has been the most threapudic exercise I have ever encountered in my life, and I want to Thank you for bringing me into it Tanya.
post #10 of 25
Writing accomplishes so many things. It is process, helping to unravel issues that may be stuck. It is product, the harmonious combination of words on a page to create thoughts, that say this is me, my voice. For those of us who have been writing a long time, there is that drive to be heard and receive feedback. I liked how you put it, Violafemme, when you mentioned writing into the void. Writing evokes something in the reader, while simultaneously moving something in the writer. Feedback is a difficult thing to give and receive...bad feedback can discourage a budding writer, obviously, and even good feedback can stall the creative process. It is, however, part and parcel of writing, considering what I mentioned before, and I am certain that we can make a safe space for it here.

I liked the solution you suggested once before, Tanya--that we can request feedback, or take our comments to PM. That would keep the creative process unhampered on the boards while still providing those of us who ARE wanting feedback to receive it.

Please let us know soon how you intend to proceed. I've been hoping for a fresh assignment for awhile, now, and have been a bit bummed to see this board petering out. I don't often get a chance to post but I am vowing, in this new year, to make my writing time a top priority, and I think this forum will serve me in that respect.
post #11 of 25

new writing mom

This is my first post. I woke up at 6:30 this morning, an impossible feat even on workdays. Having fed dd, I delivered her to the warm chest of her sleeping father so I could creep to the keyboard and pen to find long-anticipated solace.

Tanya, I am so excited to join this group. I read with dismay that you may not continue to moderate. And I have only just decided to join! I have read most of the past assignments and will post on the first week's thread, at the very least, before joining in with the next assignment to come.

I know without a doubt that this group is the one endeavor that could do me the most good right now. Professionally, as I write ad copy for a living but am itching to branch out into other projects. Creatively, as I can learn to stop second-guessing myself. Emotionally, as everything that matters came into being five months ago with the birth of my daughter. And as nothing exoricises the goblins I don't want to pass on to her like the empty page.

Thank you for starting this group and the best to you in your life and future, as well as your children's. My hope is that on this thread or through another medium, I can learn from your talent and heart.
post #12 of 25
Okay, so I want to join the writer's group and I have no idea how this works! I am practically dot com illiterate, so could comeone please explain how I can navigate my way into this group? Where are the writing assignments? From what I have seen, it looks like a giant discussion board. I was thinking this would be more like an online writing group. A little life line anyone? I see you may be in transition, but if there is still a group, I'd like to joinn. I'm a mother and a writer and I need some motivation. Thanks!
post #13 of 25

your life line

Go to Mothering's home page. At the very bottom of the page there is a Mother's Writing Group icon that looks like a notepad. Click on that and you will get the introductory information. From there, Click on the "join the writing group" link and it will take you to the board....from there you can read through the weeks and catch up on some context/do some of the writing assignments....Yes, There is some chatter before and in between assignments, but it is definetly not a giant discussion board.

We, obviously, are still learning how to be writing women/mamas who like to discuss and write in this on-line arena. The debate is to comment or not; feedback or not. The goal is to write raw and freely without inhibitions, so that the truth will emerge...For me, I like to see my writing, to know that it's out there, but I really don't need commentary. (do i crave it, yes--do i need it, no) This space gives me accountability but not so much that I feel any pressure to write. If someone really likes my work, or just wants to comment on a personal note, I would welcome a Private Message. Or if I need constructive/building ideas, I would like a PM. I also like reading the work without commentary and/or feedback. It separates the chatter from the wholeness of the pieces.

In my opinion, The commentary separates the flow of our voices.

Happy writing/reading! and Welcome...
post #14 of 25
I have not posted much because I am so slow at typing and prefer to write in my Composition books but I want to thank you so much for starting this group. My friend and I write the assignments and share them with eachother. I love the assignments as they have helped me in so many ways. Healing my past. Finding my self again. Writing to my kids. Figuring out my desires. Reflecting. Planning. and so much more. I will miss them if you go but I want you to know how much you mean to me for inspiring me to allow myself to find the writer in me again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
post #15 of 25
Ok, I haven't been able to get tto the library. Vacation is over, my life is returning.

I NEED an assignment!

How about it Tanya??? Just post an assignment while you think? Please?

God, I am SOOOO self-involved! I read Tanya's post and think, "This is my fault." Right. Cause I'm doing the homework differently. (Heck, who'd know? I don't posst that much of it.)

I need to write my way OUT of motherhood.

Ok, I know I'll always BE a mother. I wouldn't have it any other way. But my ducklings, as we have always called them, are getting ready to fly away. Two have flown, one is ready to start visiting colleges to decide which one. The youngest two tolerate me, but don't NEED me. They have each other and would be fine if the workd would just respectr the opinions of 14yos.

But here I am, perched on the cusp. Teetering on the edge of Mamamamamamamamamamama and ME ME ME ME ME ME. I have been a mother since I was 20 and now I'm 46. My entire adult life, I've known responsibility.

Now, I pass through the hard part and out into the beginnning of what is to be MY time, MY life. What will I be when I grow up? THe time to decide is now!

ANd I could use an assignment to help.

Pretty please?
post #16 of 25
Red, you are hilarious! I just love your writing style! I know that the post you just submitted this morning was kinda a vent / begging thing, but OMG girl, you are good! You have an awesome use of language and imagery! I just wanted to tell you that!
post #17 of 25
Oooooh! A new best friend! She likes me, she likes me!

Wanna read my novel? Would you, just maybe, have a secret job as a publisher? Or is your DP? I mean, I know how great I am. Being self-involved makes you realize your own worth. But I want the world to read my greatness. I want people to PAY to read my marvelous stories.

I want to be well-loved and rich. :

I want people to beg me for my autograph at book signings.

I want to come in here and say, "I don't know what I'm going to wear for my interview on Good Morning America today."


"Sorry, I've been away on an extended cruise so I haven't been posting."

All I need for my dream to come true is about 9,999 more folks just like you! (would that be enough? How many books do you have to sell to make the best sellers list?) Do ya have any friends? (besides me? ) Would any of them be publishers?

Since Tanya is trying to block us out while she decides how to proceed, and I'm BORED, I'm posting your next assingment!

Sorry Tanya. You've left me without supervision for too long! Since this is all about me, I want everyone to write about me!

Ok, that won't work. How about if everyone writes what they are hoping to get from this little group? Permission to write whatever you want? Freeing up your soul to describe yourself and your life? Searching for truth? Working though a trauma? Just trying to improve your typing?

I'm trying to improve my writing. Often my humor misses it's mark and I'm trying to fine tune that. I also am at a point where I like to have someone read my work and tell me what works and what doesn't, for them.

Then there's stuff like my son's cancer that I need to purge from my soul, without depressing my husband. I need somewhere safe to spill my horror, somewhere that it will be understood, that folks will know that even though he's fine now, my mothering heart was kicked and beaten and needs to spill and purge it's load of poison and pain.

Anyone else desperate enough to just go on alone?

Anyone want me to email them chapter one of my novel?

Sheesh! Write something!
post #18 of 25
OKay I"M so ELATED! i got an interview with Juliana Van Olphen-Fehr author of Diary of a Midwife

i'm just gonna go for it and email Ina May while I have the nerve.

Hopefully, i'll start channelling soon and this article will finish writing itself
post #19 of 25

a poem written while visiting the in-laws...

Stuck Inside
between nowhere
No one wants to play
or whisper
I hear my child
he wants juice not water
the words slice through
my thoughts and turn them to mush
I want them to know I'm smart
deep deeper than they could ever go
My head aches from the
compression and oppression of
misdirected voice
I have no choice but to comply
I want to be skinny but I stuff my face with
sugary sweets
and overeat
delicious dinners that mother in law cooks
post #20 of 25
you go mamas!!!!!!great job zen!!!!!!!!!!

perhaps tho this is just the thing that T is worried about? too much co-dependency on her? or the whole scene. perhaps she would like YOU to be the leader of YOU?perhaps ahe just wanted to be on the ship that has set sail instead of drive the ship for you? perhaps this IS an assignment? to go ahead and do this week on our own without direction? to go with our hunches, whatever topic that needs to get out, write it?

these are just me own ramblings. i am in no way trying to speak for Tanya. these are just thought processes i am going through outloud.

you can also try here,
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