Reading: 5 Secrets to Reinventing Yourself as a Writer

Reinvent Yourself

5 Secrets to Reinventing Yourself as a Writer

From a Conversation with Author Laura Munson on the Reinvent Yourself Podcast

Covey Editors

Photo by Ana Tavares

Laura Munson wants to help you craft your story. So many women we’ve met at conventions tell me, “I want to write a book. I used to love to write in my journal when I was young, but then life took over, and I don’t even think I have a voice anymore.” It’s a hard field to break into, but there are many ways to go about it. You can self publish. You can take courses. You can go to a retreat like the Haven Writing retreat with Laura, where you can actually get one-on-one instruction. It could be any of those things, and we’re just so thrilled to share Laura Munson’s 5 secrets to reinventing yourself as a writer, from a recent episode of our Reinvent Yourself podcast:

1. Practice Journaling with Intention
I try to help people figure out what the white-hot charged themes in their lives are. Maybe it’s reinvention. And then, instead of having a journal called “reinvention” and writing vaguely about reinvention in it, I really try to help people put their fingers on the key and defining scenes they’ve lived that stem from the word reinvention. And then write those scenes out. Because we live our life in scenes. And to me it’s the scenes that hold up the infrastructure of the theme, and eventually create your book.

2. Find a Community
Journaling to get it out is important, but so is writing as a community. You don’t have to do it alone. Something profound happens when you express yourself in such a safe, small group way. We’re just longing for that kind of connection. If you’re in a large urban area you can find writers’ collectives. So that’s the first place I would start. In Chicago there’s a wonderful one called Story Studio downtown, in New York there’s Gotham and many others, in Boston it’s Grub Street, in San Francisco it’s The Grotto, in Minneapolis, The Loft. So that’s where I’d start. There you’ll be around people that love reading and writing.

3. Self Publish
That’s such a new and wonderful aspect of our society these days. That for free we can set up a blog or put out a book and people can read it. There’s a group out of Seattle that I really love called Girl-Friday Productions. There are some really beautiful, well-published books out there. It’s not as taboo as it used to be.

4. Find Healthy Balance in Your Creative Life
I’m over this tortured artist paradigm. I’m actually trying to empower the creative person, which is all of us, to feel more balance. And in order to have a healthy creative life, we need to be out of our heads and in our body as well. At Haven we have a woman who comes out and does equine-assisted learning with us, which is about energy work with horses. We also offer a breath yoga class that anyone can take, and we hike in the evenings.

5. Go on Retreat
Laura hosts multiple Haven Writing Retreats in her home state of Montana each year, just miles from beautiful Glacier National Park. Haven I is for those really looking to find their voice and give themselves permission to be creative. Haven II is for work-shopping a project you’ve already begun. If you’re interested go to HavenWritingRetreat.com to learn more. And when you’re signing up, say you heard about the retreat from Covey Club and you’ll get a special reduced price.

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