Things I’ve been writing
Once again, no new stories. I’m still editing The Female Correspondent. It’s taking a while because I’m using it as a test subject for my editing worksheet bundle, and my upcoming course, How to be the Heroine of Your Own Story.
One thing I’ve gratefully realised, as I edit these stories that I “finished” and published a couple of years ago, is that having a strong methodology for dealing with the plot allows me to return to pay closer attention to style. I feel I have less and less excuse to create shoddy work, which I hope indicates that my writing skills are progressing.
Journal Worksheets & #writingjournalchallenge
I’m very excited about this year’s worksheets! I journal occasionally, and I make notes in my writing journal every day, but I think there are insights to be gained from combining the two activities.
Check out the #writingjournalchallenge hashtag if you feel inspired. :)
Things I’ve been studying
The Hanged Man & Shadow work
The Tarot card I drew for this year was the Hanged Man, and I decided it was high time to delve a bit deeper into its teachings. To me, this card is analogous with the Shift, when paradigms are turned on their heads, and everything has to be questioned and re-evaluated.
There’s a lot more to unpack, though. In the Rider-Waite deck, the Hanged Man is Odin, who hung from Yggdrasil for 9 days in order to gain the wisdom of the runes and pass this knowledge on to mankind. It would be arrogant of me to equate my role as teacher with Odin’s feat, but I do particularly like this observation from ATA Tarot:
Telling others that they have to hang from a tree is simple, but no one wants to hang himself.
Despite the old maxim about those who can’t, the real teacher is one who has walked the path.
I first encountered the idea of shadow work in this video by Molly Roberts. and if you’re interested, I highly recommend learning from her and from Kelly-Ann Maddox’s excellent videos on the subject. They know much more about this process than I do!
I can only say that my first foray into shadow work was an expansive experience. When I “mindmapped” all of my Shadow elements – things I dislike, things I criticise, things I dislike about myself, etc. etc. – what appeared before me was a vast, interlinked web. I realised that all of my problems are just part of the same tangle which I keep reflecting back onto myself and onto other people. It made me intensely conscious of my “involuntary” judgements of others – and I thought I was already fairly non-judgemental! More importantly, it noticeably diminished the life-force-drain of these shadow elements.
As did the second exercise I tried, which was to visualise a meeting with my personified Shadow. Listening to my “evil twin” instead of shutting her up was way more fun!
Still, the process wasn’t easy. I shadow-worked diligently for a fortnight and a lot of it felt like emotional treacle. But it left me with a much deeper understanding of the Shift, and the other “underworld” stages, which I think will help me in my writing and hopefully also in my teaching.
Creating a summer study schedule is one of my yearly delights, and this season’s focus is on my long-neglected Latin. I’m still working through Lingua Latina, about which I cannot gush enough. It’s a brilliant textbook, completely in Latin, and with absolutely beautiful watercolour illustrations, perfect formatting, charming storylines, and a superb methodology.