"Whether or not you're talented, isn't really that important. What matters is that you're writing," my writing teacher Maureen said. I found this both comforting and unnerving. Comforting if I'm not all that talented. Unnerving to know that any talent I have won't actually take me that far.
I began taking classes with Maureen about two months after my son Matthew was stillborn. I was desperate to find a reason to get out of bed, eager to find my way back to a meaningful life. And with Maureen's gentle guidance and writing prompts, I started to tell stories about the people I love and the things that I find beauty in. Through writing, I've learned to better cultivate a practice of gratitude. I've learned that telling stories is important to me. I've learned that the journey is at least as important as the destination.
And so every other Thursday morning I gather around a table with a dozen other women. Maureen sits at the head and presides. Together we laugh, cry, analyze, question, encourage, probe. And we write. We write and sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's just, as Anne Lamott says, a sh*tty first draft. But we show up and write. That itself helps me grow.
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