Coach: Visioning strategies

Recently I taught a course with the Kearny Street Workshop: Futurecasting. It was their first online workshop. The premise of the course was for writers to engage in the practice of visioning their futures as writers, to write them into being, to engage in what some might call magic, that is the pulling into being in this reality from the ether of possibility. I’m going to offer you a few of the strategies from that class.

First, identity three writers that you love. For me, some writers that I love right now are alexis pauline gumbs, Ross Gay, and Aracelis Girmay.

Read the work of the writers that you have identified again. Write down a list of those features that inspire you, that prompt you to write, that influence you in your formal explorations, that break your heart/that enrage you/that make you feel some roiling of emotional complexity.

What’s happening on those pages? See if you can apply some of what you see to your own writing.

Next study the bios/websites of these writers you love. What about their careers might inspire you professionally? What can you learn about their pathways to literary success? What does literary success even mean to you?

After you have done this, I invite you to write down up to three intentions for your writing life. Visualize those things happening. You might do that visualization as a daily practice before or after a writing ritual/practice like your morning pages. You might create a vision board with clippings or online with a tool like Prezi. You might just write your intentions on post-its and put them on a mirror that you see everyday. Whatever you do, try returning to it/them as an affirmation and motivation.

Remember that when you are your most free, when you shake loose the hands that would squelch your shine and the voices that would silence yours, when you can move in the way of wind, you can imagine and realize your freest writer future. It is my hope that you believe, as I do and as Lilla Watson teaches us “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together”, then let’s work together in the work of writing our own liberation on the path to collective liberation.

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