When it comes to being a writer, there are many ways we might develop our craft. Some of the most common options are taking writing courses, a creative writing degree or MFA, or taking workshops, or joining a writer’s circle where we may learn from other writers.
However, there are not many ways in which we learn how to cultivate our own connection to writing – which is not necessarily the same as developing your craft.
I’m a firm believer that while you can know as much about craft in the world as you possibly can when it comes to writing, craft alone won’t save you if you are disconnected from your writing process or yourself, especially as an artist. I believe there needs to be a balance between all three: craft, process, and self-wisdom, in order to sustain a deep and renewed connection to writing.
This is the foundation that my methodology, The Rewire Technique, is built upon, and I am happy to share it with you today!
The Rewire Technique
Writing courses teach you how to write, but they don’t teach you how YOU write. We are all such unique individual beings, it only makes sense to acknowledge that we don’t all create in the exact same way.
Writing is not a hat you simply put on, nor is it a switch you can just turn on and then off when you’re done.
Writing is an identity.
Writing is a physical practice.
Writing calls for intuition on the page.
Writing knows when you’re faking it.
The diagram below outlines what The Rewire Technique consists of. There are 3 main spheres that, when overlapping, yield a renewed sense of connection to your writing.
These spheres are always moving, always evolving, so it’s important to recalibrate once in a while and dip into the technique often.
Let’s dive in.
ReStory Your Narrative
When we write, we bring ourselves to the table, so making sure we are as internally aligned as possible is a crucial step to moving towards the results we want in our writing.
We bring a lot of baggage wherever we go – that’s just inevitable! But if we don’t unpack that baggage, it will weigh us down on the page (and in life as well). We all have an internal narrative that we tell ourselves about ourselves. This narrative is often driven by what’s happened to us in the past, where we’ve come from, where we are now, and where we desire to be
Restorying Your Narrative draws on plotting techniques and applies them to your own life in order to find alignment within your writing life, and possibly healing as well. (Disclaimer: None of my services or my methodology substitutes for therapy or counseling, and I always encourage clients to seek out mental health services when needed.)
There are 3 skills that I teach within Restorying Your Narrative: Defeat, Map, and Build.
Defeat Your Inner Antagonist
We all have a shadow side and inner demons; an inner antagonist that never lets up. There is a lot we can learn from our inner antagonist, but after a certain point, it’s time to say goodbye to them.
We’ll look at reframing the narratives you tell yourself about yourself as a writer, as a person, as an artist. We’ll scrutinize your limiting beliefs and fears, then turn them around.
Narratives that do not have a happy beginning, middle or end can be re-storied so that we can get to where we want to be. I’m not talking about changing the past or rewriting history – what’s done is done and we cannot change that. But we can influence where we are now, in order to put us on a trajectory for where we want to be. Or we can reframe the past to make sense of where we are now.
The point is, instead of our inner antagonist taking over the story, we, the protagonist, reclaim the story.
Map Out Your Hero Journey
As the protagonist of our own story, we are writing it everyday, so let’s treat it as such.
By mapping out your hero journey (using the classic The Hero’s Journey template, or the Save The Cat Beat Sheet), we’ll start to identify old patterns that don’t serve you, how you’d like to change them going forward, and also bring a sense of meaning and purpose to your story by identifying the theme and larger lessons.
We may also work on discovering your artist brand; how you’d like to show up in the world as an artist.
Build Out Your Character Profile
In this skill, we’ll use character sheets to paint a picture of you in order to figure out your character arc and what plot points need to happen in order to develop your character. We can also use different tools to learn deeply about who you are such as the Myers Briggs personality test, the Enneagram test, astrology, and tarot.
By increasing self-wisdom, it becomes easier to learn how to express ourselves. Applying plotting and character development techniques to ourselves just as we would when plotting out a book, allows us to create a sense of distance between us and our story, which is particularly helpful if our story is painful.
Taking control of our narrative also helps us feel empowered – we are the authorial voice in our own lives after all.
ReIntuit Your Process
I mentioned earlier that writing is not an on/off switch that we can simply turn on as soon as we sit down to write, and turn off when we are finished. But for the longest time, I felt that’s how it was supposed to be, and that any deviation from that meant I clearly wasn’t skilled enough and was therefore, a ‘bad’ writer, a fake.
Thinking about writing in this very objective way though is harmful. Writing shouldn’t be reduced to the functions of a light switch!
I understand writing can have a very utilitarian purpose; it’s one of the most popular art forms so commonly woven into the fabric of our everyday lives in a non-artistic way. We need to write in order to communicate – signage, texting, messaging, email, labels on products, technician manuals, textbooks, speeches, etc.
The utilitarian usage of writing can be very on/off and innate to most of us, but when it comes to artistic writing, creative writing, we need a process.
There are 3 main skills I teach within ReIntuit Your Process: Embody, Soul Dive, and Clear Mind.
Embody Your Writing
Our writing comes from our body. We write with our hands, using a pen or keyboard, or we use our voice to dictate speech-to-text.
Through research and experience, I have found that there is a connection between how embodied we are and how much our writing flows on the page. That is to say, the more embodied we are, the more our writing flows from us.
With this skill, I teach writers how to get out of their head and learn to embody their writing, and how to feel their way through a piece of writing by paying attention to what their body tells them.
Deep Soul Dive
This is a fun skill to learn because this is where you meet your muse!
The muse is often seen as such an abstract figure, a mysterious unknown force that drives us, but what if it wasn’t? What if we knew exactly what our muse looked like and understood them as a deeply eternal entity inside ourselves?
Arguably the most important skill I teach, finding out what your source of creativity is and why your muse shows up, and how to access it, becomes the foundation of a writer’s process. We also take a look at developing a sacred writing practice, and figuring out under which conditions your soul writes best.
Clear Your Mind
You can’t be intuitive about your process if you’re stuck in your head! With this skill, you’ll learn to clear your mind using meditation and journaling, and develop a solid self-editing process so that revisions don’t seem like such a daunting task.
All three of these skills come together to build a process around your writing that is intuitive, embodied, and true to you. There are no gimmicks here; we bring ourselves to our own process. We are the driving force and we’re in the driver’s seat.
ReWild Your Craft
Craft is all about how you write. Craft is the most popular topic that writers teach other writers.
But sometimes we can overlearn something that comes naturally to us, and it can have the effect of hindering our productivity rather than fueling it.
I have a close friend who said that getting her creative writing degree killed her creativity, and she hasn’t written anything since graduating! This is not the first time I’ve heard similar sentiments from other writers. I have also found myself stuck in the ‘craft rut’ where I was focused so much on how to execute something that I couldn’t even start writing it!
Institutionalized learning has its benefits and is practical for teaching a large audience the same thing at the same time. But it can be a bit factory-like if we’re not careful.
I think writing courses can be wonderfully inspirational and useful, and are essential for any writer, but they are not the be all, end all. W. Somerset Maugham famously said, “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are.” Elmore Leonard’s top tip for writing was, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” One of Zadie Smith’s tips for writing is, “You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle.’ All that matters is what you leave on the page.”
It begs the questions – when is learning the craft of writing ‘too much’? And how exactly does that show up on the page? I believe there are just as many ways in which craft can impose on our writing and overwhelm our thinking, as there are ways that it helps us become better artists.
By rewilding our craft, we can learn how to return our craft to a state that’s organic to us. In ReWilding Your Craft, I teach three skills: Play, Hunt, and Fertilize.
The mass production and mass consumption of the writing industry has a tendency to reduce writing to a mere product – people want to buy stories and poems, writers and publishers deliver these products to them. This process, ‘the business of writing,’ is essential for artists to get their work seen, but sometimes we can take it too seriously and forget to play.
When we play with our craft freely, it opens up the possibility for all sorts of epiphanies to surface.
Through playing with our writing, we can begin to strip away some of those consumerist, capitalist learned bahviours around our writing, and bring it back to an organic wild place of play. We move away from formulaic teachings, expectations, and rule-based craft, in favour of subverting what we know and what we think others want to see from us. There are no wrong answers here!
We may be unaware of the sorts of things that aren’t serving our craft, so it’s important to take a close look and hunt down what’s working for you on the page and what isn’t, what you’d like to learn and what you’d like to unlearn.
Unlearning craft is often tied to beliefs such as, we ‘must’ write about certain things and not others, or our writing ‘has’ to be done in a certain way. By identifying the craft techniques that you really do love, we can figure out what makes you tick on the page and how to express yourself truthfully.
Sometimes the way that writing is taught can become a bit stale and needs a boost, something to spice things up.
This is a very fun skill where you’ll learn never-before-seen ways of looking at the craft of writing that I developed from my own experience of overcoming writer’s block. We’ll also look at other writer’s work, and layer in fresh perspectives of craft to spark inspiration and creativity,
There really isn’t just one way of studying the craft of writing. We can make it work for ourselves, keeping in mind craft also depends on what we choose to consume around it. Garbage in, garbage out as they say! ReWilding Your Craft is where we’ll get to workshop some of your writing and make tangible changes and active progress on the page.
Who is The Rewire Technique For?
The Rewire Technique is for writers who feel their writing life has become stale and want to renew their connection to writing.
It’s for writers who feel they just aren’t quite meeting their goals with their work, no matter how hard they try.
It’s for writers who have a writing project that seems to be going nowhere, and they want a boost to jumpstart the project.
It’s also for new writers who are just starting out and aren’t sure how to get started, either on a project or with writing overall.
It is not for writers looking to get rich quick with publishing.
It is not for writers who are unwilling to do the inner work.
It is not for writers who want a quick fix for their writer’s block.
Some writers need help in only one of the spheres; others may need help in all three. Together, a writer and I will figure this out in my private coaching sessions where this technique forms the foundational framework of my coaching.
If you’re curious to learn more – even just a little! – I offer a free 1-hour Discovery Session so that we can meet, discuss your challenges and goals, get your questions answered, and learn about how I could specifically help you or any of your writing projects. Book a call here if you’d like – what is there to lose?
Questions before booking a call? You can DM me on Facebook or send me an email. I would love to hear from you!
Looking forward to connecting!