Writing is a solitary sport and I treat myself a couple of times a week to writing online with others. In addition to hosting a weekly Virtual Write-In focused on productivity, I also participate in TWC‘s prompt-driven, free-form group writes. In these, we write quickly then immediately share what we’ve written and receive feedback. Writers don’t normally share first drafts, but thanks to Pat Schneider’s methodology, it is a comfortable and sometimes profound experience.

In a recent session, we were given a short poem called “Praying” by Mary Oliver and prompted to write about gratitude. I ended up writing a poem about the group writing experience, for which I feel very grateful.


This isn’t a contest, but a doorway
it’s a free-write, the “shit draft”
it doesn’t have to matter, doesn’t have to
mean anything
but you have to share it anyway.

It’s not a contest but everyone will see
your shit
will see what your brain does when it doesn’t
have time to think, will see
all your thoughts that don’t mean anything.

It’s not a contest, but a miracle
may unfold, all the words may end up
meaning everything, may find their way to each other
even before we’ve spoken them
the way prayers do
whispered into silent empty spaces until
they aren’t silent anymore.

it is a doorway
open it
walk through it
others are here walking with you


Progressive Tense Cards (18)


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