Exposing the Poetry of Presence in Memoir:
Naked writing as a juicy practice for getting present
April 22, 2022
11 AM PDT | 12 PM MDT | 1 PM CDT | 2 PM EDT
Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind.
It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private
~ Alan Ginsberg
You cannot find yourself in the past or future.
The only place you can find yourself in the Now.
~ Eckhart Tolle
At NAMW, we’re celebrating National Poetry Month in April! As many of you know, poetry opens the door for a different way of viewing the world and expressing what we see. It does not have to proceed logically, nor seek to satisfy the discursive mind. But it pays close attention to the details, capturing fertile snippets of life. We’re so pleased to have Marijke McCandless with us for our April Member Event to help us feel comfortable with and enjoy some stress-free ways to express ourselves. You do not have to be a “poet” to enjoy exploring words and images that arise naturally in your mind.
I began a writing practice that I call Write Now Mind which invites writers to learn how to do this. We will discuss the principles of this kind of writing, and then take some time to enter into the wilds of our mind and engage in a little spontaneous, naked writing. This kind of writing can prepare you for memoir writing—where we must dare to be vulnerable and detailed while exposing our raw truths. And you don’t need to be a poet to do use this technique.
I call it naked writing because we don’t dress it up at all. We don’t filter or edit, or try to “improve” it. It is writing that is an expression of the intimacy of the moment—this moment. It’s a powerful way to discover our own voice, discovering what wants to be expressed. It can also be a process for developing a relationship with one’s mind and for sharing with others from a place of vulnerability and authenticity. It can help us let go of the critic and awaken our attention to detail. This kind of writing is much closer to poetry, accessing naturally authentic emotions and aesthetic thoughts.
To discover the poetry and presence in your work, we will set a timer, use the barest of prompts, and follow writing practice pioneer, Natalie Goldberg’s rules:
- Keep your hand moving.
- Be specific.
- Lose control.
- Don’t think.
Then the magic begins. We are going to dare to share with each other. As listeners, we will seek to hear between the lines that are written, to relate which phrases caught our attention, to encourage the writer, and to notice how connected we feel to others when they vulnerably share their unedited naked writing.
I invite you to bring your curiosity with you, along with paper and pen, and experience for yourself:
- An introduction to a practice I call Write Now Mind.
- The power of naked writing as a juicy practice for getting present with your story.
- A deep connection when you and others share with vulnerability.
- Poetry naturally expressed in the moment without allowing the inner critic to show up.
All levels of writing experience welcome.
About Marijke McCandless
Marijke McCandless is an award-winning author and long-time awareness practitioner. Her memoir, More…Journey to mystical union through the sacred and the profane (written under a pen name) has won awards nearly every year since publication in 2016. She leads a popular online writing practice called Write Now Mind and awareness practice sessions called Juicy Practices for Getting Present plus other immersion workshops. She is known for her playful attitude, tenacious spirit, and adventurous soul. Her recipe for enlivenment? Listen. Play. Write. Stay tuned for her upcoming book: Naked in the Now: Juicy practices for getting present https://marijkemccandless.com
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