Part One: The Journey Together

Part 1: The Journey Together through Jen Lee's "Take Me with You" journal from Jen Lee on Vimeo.

Today we're starting our journey together through the Take Me with You journal.  Check in and let us know if you're playing along in the comments section.  You can still order a journal for yourself and a friend here, and if you want to check in about your progress on Twitter (breakthroughs, page counts, and more), just tag your tweet with #TMWY so we can celebrate with you and cheer you on.

I'm filling up my own copy, too--stay tuned for a few glimpses here in the coming days, along with a new series called Photo Lines.

So glad we're on this journey together.

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To Tell

Colleen and Lucy in Central Park

"Most writers, like most children, need to tell. The only problem is that much of what they need to tell will provoke the ire of parent-critics, who are determined to tell writer-children what they can and cannot say.  Unless you have sufficient ego and feel entitled to tell your story, you will be stymied in your effort to create. You think you can't write, but the truth is you can't tell. Writing is nothing if not breaking the silence."

--Betsy Lerner, The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers

Work Worth Doing

It doesn't take much as a creative person to fall into strange conversations about what kind of creative work is worth doing or making, beginning or finishing.  One comment from a well-meaning person pointing out the statistical improbabilities of our current project making its way into blockbuster-level production usually does the trick.  We start comparing different mediums and strategies, wondering if we have the right one, suddenly trying to beat some hypothetical odds.

What's worth it? we ask, and if we're lucky we ask one who knows.

Many career artists would say that their best work was never published, produced or displayed.  We create in a cloud of not seeing where the work will travel to in the end.  Will it live out its days in a drawer or a closet, or will it be welcomed, embraced, celebrated?  If you need to see how it all ends to justify the work of creating, you're not likely to begin and even less likely to finish.

The only remedy I know for this mental gridlock is trust.  Trust that every piece of work has a purpose to serve, and that every piece of work fulfills its purpose.  Sometimes that purpose is accomplished in the creator, in the act of its creation.  Other times that purpose is for an audience of five people, or the readers of fifty languages.  It may mean something big to a small number of people, or it might mean something small to many.  We don't know, and it's not our responsibility to know.

Our job is to tell the stories that are ours to tell, to make the work that is ours to make, and to let our creations have their way with us and the world.  To trust that our work will find its way into the hands that need it most.  To listen, to begin, and to finish, knowing that the work that emerges will be more pure and honest when it doesn't have to prove its worth to us.


Don't-Miss Events and a movie-worthy life

Momasphere event at Melt


Momasphere events, like this one I performed at a couple weeks ago, are gaining a reputation for being don't-miss occasions. My upcoming Momasphere workshop, Make Room for Mom's Voice (December 6th), is going to be no exception.  Some are making arrangements to come into NYC the night before and spend the night here before the Sunday morning workshop, which I think is a great idea.  But the spots left for this are really limited, so if you're interested in coming consider registering first and working out the details afterwards.

I keep listening to this over and over again:  Billy Collins reading/speaking at CUNY. (Thanks to Katie at Cakes, Tea and Dreams for sharing this link on Twitter. Follow her.)

And finally, here's a podcast to close out our week together.

"A lot of things can't really nourish us until they're complete."

Podcast: Mini Runs, Medium Loops, and The Big Mama

Here are some thoughts on running in bad weather, and one of my writing tricks for stormy days.

My friends tell me that because I sound so calm and mellow, people don't realize how "Type A" I am. So I'm just telling you that now.

Click the link below to listen in your web browser, or right click it to download onto your computer.