Essoyes (Ess-wha). ... I saw it online: "Writing from the Heart ... in the Heart of France." I wanted to do it "someday." Last fall, I decided that "someday" was NOW! ... On Oct. 11, I headed for France to the small village of Essoyes that had nourished, among others, Renoir.
We spent a week, we five women and our talented instructor, Janet Hulstrand (http://essoyeschool.com/), immersing ourselves in French ambiance and writing from the heart.
Here’s an abbreviated version of our final homework assignment.
What do you want to take home?
I think, as I said in computerese in an earlier class discussion, I have "refreshed my page." I’ve written all my life, sometimes with more intensity than others. I’m past wanting to write as an economic imperative; I want to do it for the joy of writing, as I did as a kid, and pick my times and places to share.
What do you want to safeguard/nourish/protect?
I want to carve out the time to write. So much of what feels "busy" to me are fascinating distractions, but distractions nonetheless. They distract me from guarding my health and managing my time. They leave me with fractured leftovers of time, not clean, pure periods that allow for the concentration and clarity required to write. I must raise this in priority, to give it its due.
What do you promise yourself to do as follow-up to the work you’ve done here?
Resolve, resolve, resolve. I have no real barriers except myself to writing. Even while I carve out the niche in time, I need to clear out space, reducing the clutter I easily manage to bury myself in. I need to read completely our texts, to profit from their inspiration and their practical suggestions, to help me stay on track. I need to maintain the relationship with my fellow writers from this workshop, with inspiration from their wildly different personalities and background, yet their similarity in commitment. I will find a trusted friend who can read my stuff and give me safe commentary.
Worth every crammed minute in the sardine can.
See you tomorrow.