Day Six: Writing with the Body

(estimated. time: 60-75 minutes)

I heart Sondra Perl, the godmother of “felt sense.” That’s all that I’ll say by way of introduction today, because Dr. Perl herself will give you a wonderful zen-like introduction to the process when you get to the “reading” for today.

Prep: (adapted from a Lynda Barry exercise):

Draw a little dot on a page. Then draw a tight spiral around the dot, going around and around. Get the lines of the spiral as close together as possible. Keep drawing the spiral for three or four minutes. For some people, it’s an easy way to gather your attention onto the page. For me, it helps me access a daydream state—a state that’s good for my writing—though I can’t explain why it works. Here’s an example:

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Read:

Listen to Dr. Perl’s introduction here—you’ll need headphones or a private space for listening today—and then proceed to one of the other videos that will coach you through your writing session today.

Create:

Write along with one of the “Guidelines for Composing” videos. You can either generate a new idea to write about, or you can develop an idea you came up with earlier in the regimen —your call.

Reflect:

List the conditions for your writing session today (e.g. morning, easy chair+lapdesk, coffee, children upstairs, etc.) Which conditions are working for you? Which conditions are working against you?

Re: “Guidelines for Composing”—What worked for you? What didn’t work so well?

What did you learn about writing, or about yourself as a writer today?

Put an X in the box for day 6 and log the time you took with today’s session.