How to Discover What You Want to Write

I’m toast. Exhausted. In need of renewal. Since I refuse (most of the time) to be a hypocrite, I am taking a few days off.

I wanted to write a post about how to savor renewing but I’m too toasted to write it, and if forced myself to write it, I would be a hypocrite. Full stop.

You see one reason I am toasty crispy is I have started my novel again.

Suffice to say, not what I thought would come up as I pursued this new direction of Savor & Serve. A lot of me is screaming “NO!” this is not how you serve but it turns out, a bigger part of me needs to do this. This being seriously making a go of writing this story.

Have you ever thought you would serve in one way and then found yourself going in another? Please tell me what happened.

Oh and for your viewing pleasure, here is my badly lit but very charming video about how I write a discovery draft, from about 10 months ago. From the writer in me to the writer in you.

Oh yes a little P.S. Early bird price goes away today on Walking into Fire (we extended it because Susan has been away on retreat) This is a magic mini-retreat for your writer’s heart where we will share every thing we can about writing to change the world. And yourself. And have fun.

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Brenda Leifso - August 4, 2011

Hi Jen,

Just in case you’re looking for more structure in the novel writing process, I’m launching online creative writing studios.  While short fiction is on fall’s list, the novel will begin in January.  If you are not interested, forgive my intrustion!  Info can be found here:  http://www.brendaleifso.com/studios. 

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Marion - August 4, 2011

Thought I’d serve in one way and found myself going another?!?  Have I got a story for you!  I have a degree in Social Work that is more than 40 years old…never actually went into the field.  Instead, traveled the country, moved from NY to Denver, raised 3 kids, mostly as a single parent while working as a legal secretary. 

After they were grown, I asked myself “who did I want to be before I had children?!?”  Then I sold the house, ended up homeless after an attempted move to CA, and homeless again when I returned to Denver.

 Today I am on SSDI, but I am also the Chairman of the Board of a healthcare clinic, attend healthcare for the homeless conferences, have done two workshop presentations there, and this year was named to the Steering Committee of the National Consumer Advisory Board to the National Healthcare for the Homeless Council.  My two greatest strengths are networking and writing, and I find that I am just where I’m supposed to be! 

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    jenniferlouden - August 5, 2011

    Marion, what a story. What is SSDI?

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Marie - August 4, 2011

I felt such joy when I read about you writing your novel. A big yay for art! You asked for comments on thinking we’re going to serve in one way and then going for another. My experience was that I thought I was here to help other people remember who they are through creativity. What I realized was that I’m here to express my essence through art and that is the core of all the creative coaching, teaching and facilitating I do. Essence, art, imagination and creativity comes first, serving others then naturally grows from that, like branches of a tree that gives shelter, beauty and fruit to people that pass by.

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    jenniferlouden - August 5, 2011

    your words stayed with me all day Marie, thank you!

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Padma Ayyagari - August 4, 2011

Thank you very much Jen for that blog and vlog.  I needed to get that tip – the difference between discovery draft and the real writing.  I would love to have attended your “Walking into Fire” with Patti Digh and Susan Piver. I love those two women’s writings as well and savoring Patti Digh’s book at the  moment.

 But unfortunately Australia is too far away to drop into Portland for one day.  May be, just may be, one day you all will be here in Australia and i can join you guys –

 I have put the order into the Universe, it will happen in its own time, not my time, not yours, but in its own time. I trust in that and I know you do too.

Please continue the good work and be the inspiration that you are  to budding writers  like me.
Thank you once again

Padma Ayyagari
Australia

http://www.areyouchanging.wordpress.com

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    jenniferlouden - August 5, 2011

    Padma, I would so love to come down to your great country – someday!

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Hillary Rubin - August 4, 2011

what a great reminder to write even when I am tired. off to my own personal retreat this weekend to renew myself. enjoying your site. thanks! 

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    jenniferlouden - August 5, 2011

    hope the retreat is all that your creative heart needs!

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El Edwards - August 4, 2011

“Have you ever thought you would serve in one way and then found yourself going in another?”

Oh yes! I spent 18 months trying to find and then refine how I would serve the world only to find that the thing I feared I was moving away from turned out to still be a very important part of the ‘how’, just not in the way I’d first thought!

The screaming part sounds like your lovely brain trying to keep you safe from all that scary changing. Mine hates it when I try and change and kicks up a right old fuss! Have a wonderful few days off. 🙂

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    jenniferlouden - August 5, 2011

    Thanks dear El!

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Elle B - August 4, 2011

Jen, so happy to hear your novel has moved to the front burner! I’m right there with you. A little bit of crispy is inevitable and sometimes makes stuff taste better.  

Why you can serve with your fiction writing, according to Mr. Einstein:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Love and thanks, 
Debra 

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    jenniferlouden - August 5, 2011

    Your words, especially now that I can see your lovely face, are much appreciated. I hope Taos continues to feed YOUR novel adventure.

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Susan Gallacher-Turner - August 7, 2011

“Have you ever thought you would serve in one way and then found yourself going in another?”

OH YEAH!  From painting to clay, from writing ads to heartfelt blogs, essays and my own novel, from dedicated career gal to stay at home mom, my life has taken many turns along the way(and continues to do so) but I know that the turns have been from my heart and that I really believe is the true way to serve.    Oh, even when serving means taking a much needed rest…so I am glad you’re listening and taking care of yourself!

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    jenniferlouden - August 11, 2011

    Thanks Susan!

    Reply
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