I'm sending a separate email to invite you to write and practice your crafts with me and friends.
It's partly motivated by the inquiry I had in this week's enzyme, which is "Who am I?" and "What is my work in this world, now?"
Here is the full invitation. I hope you can join us or at least find reading it useful.
Need to write something that matters to you or practice a craft that you have been putting away? Join us in this regular virtual space.
More than accountability, it is dedicated for you to come alive by staying in touch with the ever-present creative force.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
Is there a chance that what makes you come alive is to get in touch with your own expression? To share your experience of what is happening to your world with this world?
If you do have a glimpse of that chance, no matter how slim, this Write & Craft might be for you.
In particular, for those who have yet have a writing practice or any kind of craft like drawing, singing, composing, making things with hands etc.. this could help you start. For those who already do, you have tasted the pleasure of shaping the formless into a concrete form. This is a chance to deepen it and begin to share with people.
What you can expect
Focus: When the intention is clear, focus happens. As you begin to sit down, notice and express what has been going on, you will give form to the formless through writing or any crafts of your choice.
Friends: Simply by being in the presence of others who support you doing this important work, you will get more done while also enjoying yourself way more. Friends like me will cheer you on.
Fun: at the end we will celebrate whatever we accomplished, even if it is only to stay throughout the session or collect your thoughts. It will be both uplifting and grounding.
What have people been doing with Write & Craft
People have used their writing & craft to make sense of what is going on, center themselves and share with others what they see is important.
Lily spent most of our last session sitting in silence to center herself and collect her thoughts during this difficult time. It wasn’t she didn’t care about what’s happening. “But this is how I care. Writing reflects what I see in the world and is my way to contribute to it”, she said at the end.
Alina writes to rekindle her relationship with writing and with pleasure itself. “After years of academic writing, I need to find ways to make writing pleasurable again”.
Joshua shared his Joshua-ness by writing about The Perfect Quarantine Day after his own experimentation. “I’ve got all of the thoughts, just need to put them down”.
Matthew wrestled with thinking about what the pandemic has meant for the world at large. Koyo drew to recollect herself. Halim made beautiful poetry.
How it works:
The format is open enough that you can work on a variety of things: write personal journal or random musings, make poetry, draft an article or important emails, sketch new business ideas or life plans, etc… Some people do drawing, baking and making things with hands. Essentially, any form of expression that allows you to experience your own creative nature.
When we meet for 75-90 mins video session, we will do a short centering practice, then share what we’ll be writing or making. After that, we will spend an hour or so doing REALLY GOOD WORK. Then come back to the chat and talk about what you did, or things that you discovered in the process.
Ready to dive?
Yay! You can find a time on the Write & Craft schedule here.
I am opening up many slots in June for this good work & enjoy being together.
Bring whatever you need for your craft. Most importantly, bring the commitment you already made to bring your craft and voice into the world.
We look forward to writing & crafting with you.
Why bother with a write & craft practice for yourself?
Personally, writing regularly is no doubt the most life-changing practice for me, even more than meditation and exercise.
Many people echo the same. From classic writers to modern day Internet success like Tim Ferriss or David Perell to virtually any author you have read and admired.
“When we do look inward to uncover our voice and become skillful in our expression, we have opened up the chance to have a hugely fulfilling life. It’s not that we will necessarily have fame and financial rewards—so much of that depends upon the vagaries of time and place—but what becomes possible is unifying ourselves inside and out.
When we begin to authentically express we find out in the act itself who we are, just like in speaking itself we find out what we have to say. Giving form to our voice establishes an inner unity that may at first be fleeting, but over time becomes more established and lasting.”
Why you maybe hesitating?
I don’t know, but let me share with you why I was hesitating and the two Ahas that got me out of it.
The First Aha is about the struggle to know oneself.
You know how sometimes you read something that is so piercing that you feel somewhat metaphorically naked?
That’s what I remember a while ago while listening to the poet David Whyte speak about the journey of knowing who we are.
People often thinking of self-knowledge as discovering your purpose, your gift and ways to give it to the world. That’s one important half of it. Yet as anyone who has struggled in “Know Thyself” journey will know, the other half is equally true: all the ways we are reluctant to have that fierce conversation with ourselves and the world. We avoid greatness as much as our misery.
When he spoke of this deep reluctance, I remembered thinking “Damn. I just got called out. Like a sweet tickle.“
This brings me to the Second Aha, which is about the fears holding us back and how they are misplaced.
Sometimes it is “I’m not good enough”. Other times it is the familiar void of pointlessness “Why bothers? What’s the point after all? Who cares?”
As someone who has relatively low readership by many conventional standards of clicks and likes, I know that despair too well.
It oftentimes masks itself behind the convenient excuse of “I’m too busy. I don’t have time. I’ll wait until I finish this job / have more money / things settle down” (My personal favorite excuse? “It’s too hot”).
After much effort to uproot those fears, one morning an insight hit me like a bolt.
THESE FEARS ARE ALL TRUE.
First, my work definitely not good enough to where my taste asks for.
Second, very few people will care about this.
As unwanted as they are, these fears are real and also useful. They are there with the hope that my little sense of self will not be humiliated for the lousy work and lack of impact.
There is only one issue, however. These fears are a bit too fast in the game of creation.
Before you wonder if you are good enough or if anyone cares at all, it’s worth wondering: do you really know what you want to express before you do express it?
I don’t. Case in point: I didn’t know I wanted to write this invitation to you until I sat down and wrote it…
So, back to you.
Do you know what your unique expression is? What your craft can create in the world? More importantly, do you want to know?
If you do, join me and start writing or making things with your craft. Because there is no way you or I will know until we begin making it.
That’s how we will come alive, together.
Sharing is sprouting.
If you have been forwarded this newsletter, feel free to subscribe to it here