Saturday, November 12, 2011


At last week's writers' conference, I attended the teaching lab titled "The Spiritual Journey Of A Writer". It was taught by Jerome Daley, a Leadership and Writing Coach from North Carolina. We met every morning in the cozy Gathering Room furnished with a fireplace, couches, tables and beautiful art. Throughout our meetings, Jerome asked pointed questions and required us to answer with single words. I loved this exercise. Being a lover of words (as are all my classmates) I really enjoyed simplifying things down to a single word.
One of the questions was, "What is your favorite kind of writing?" Some of our answers were:  reflective, formational, healing, unapologetic, vulnerable, and hoping.
Another question was "What one word describes where you are in your spiritual journey?" What a thought provoking question! It's surprising how powerful a single word can be. Reducing a description to single word makes that one word very, very significant. Some of the words our group used to describe their spiritual journey are:  deep, deepening, quiet, crippled, assaulted, resistant, desperate, growing, transformed, content, doorstep, worshipful. Wow.
We zeroed in on some key things for our spiritual journey and our writing journey, and then merged the two together on the last day, aiming at understanding our personal needs for either structure or spontaneity so we can better create a "map" for these journeys.
We talked about being intentional in class and again, Jerome asked us to use a single word or a phrase to describe the word “intention.” Some of the things we contributed were: on purpose, aware, directed, tenacious, deliberate, slow down, focus, not getting steam rolled by life, and choosing.
At the end of our three sessions, we were asked to select a single word reflecting what had impacted us most. The word I chose was "intentional." When asked, as we all were, to explain why, I shared the disappointing truth that "The things I long for in my life are not a part of my life because I have not been intentional."  This conference for me was all about becoming more intentional in both my spiritual journey and my writing journey. It was a message "coincidentally" repeated throughout the workshops I chose, the group devotions time, and my personal time with God at Ghost Ranch the day before the conference began.
But this word, intentional,  comes with an important warning. I'll write a little about it in my next post.

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