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A Circle of Connection

connection guidance red thread publishing write writerscircle writingpurpose Oct 20, 2022
A Circle of Connection

by Maya Amaele Liebermann

I have a confession to make: my perfectionism almost kept me from writing this blog post on the topic of what I have learned from the weekly Red Thread Writers Circle that I have been attending with Dr. Adrienne MacIain...

One of the many things I have learned from being in Writers Circle with Dr. Adrienne is that how I feel as a writer matters as much as my final writing product.

In the first writer’s circle that I attended, we were guided by Dr. Adrienne to read aloud to the group several lines from our writing, and then to respond to each woman’s writing with several words of feedback about how it made us feel.

This felt like a huge relief to me. It was a welcome change of pace from the type of writing feedback instruction which asks for an analysis based on structure, content, or flow. Not to say that analytical feedback doesn't also have an important writing purpose, it just felt refreshing to have my emotions matter as much as my analysis.

Being asked to give writing feedback based on an emotional response, ties into what Dr. Adrienne calls, "The Gospel of Process": the idea that our relationship to our process is our relationship to our product.

I can say that it feels nurturing to gather with women who are all sharing a process of relating to our book-writing process.

I felt incredibly privileged to suddenly be let into a circle of women who were authentically sharing with each other and offering mutual support on their book writing process.

Why did I feel privileged and lucky?

Because, as an aspiring first-time author, I was in direct contact with other women in the same or different position than I am as a writer. Some of us were thinking about publishing for the first time, while others have already published and are writing their next manuscript.

I learned that even someone like me, who doesn't fully believe in my own capacity to be a published author, can relate and connect with other women who may feel the same way. It inspires me that many in the writer's circle have worked through their self doubt to the point where they are actively working on their book manuscript with Red Thread.

Connecting in the area of the writing process, one of the things I learned from Dr. Adrienne was to draw a mind map. What is a mind map? It's a visual mapping of words that connect from one idea to another across the page.

Our mind map started with a word or phrase that described a problem or stuck place in relation to our writing. Then, we gradually built up from that stuck place with words and phrases that described what helps and what the results are of that help, all the way across the page, into a place of what helps us to be liberated in our writing process.

In the Mind Map exercise that we did in circle, we took some time off screen to make our own individual maps and then to come back together as a group and optionally share and witness our maps.

The feeling of affirmation I felt from Dr. Adrienne and the women in the circle made all the difference for me. Seeing other women's mind maps, I experienced that I am definitely not alone in any authentic aspect of my process as a writer.

I am sensing that taking care of my writing process will be an essential and timeless necessity for as long as I write. I am taking care of my human need for sharing connection, support, and inspiration.

Do we ever outgrow our human need for connection in any capacity, including in our process as writers? Personally, I think it’s going to be a lifetime thing for me. An open and endless circle, like the writer's circle.

A circle rotates with no beginning and no end, it just is. I can see my desire to write-in-connection with others as relating to this circle imagery... it just is... and we are not alone as we write.


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