A Look Inside Our Rebranding Cocoon

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This past few months, the Narrative Nest has been undergoing some major transformations. Think metamorphic rock under the surface of the Earth. Okay, that’s hyperbole. But we have shifted our scope and our style.

If you don’t yet know, our monthly in-person group is meeting at The Hive in Downtown Phoenix now. This is a perfect opportunity for women to get together in the heart of Phoenix and form community. You can catch our host Devin there on the second Saturday of each month from 1-3pm. Come share your writing and get feedback in a respectful, cozy all-woman environment.

As for me, I’ve been in hibernation mode. Not as keen on crawling out of my cave, I’m tinkering behind the scenes and hosting meetings virtually. I started a weekly accountability group to connect members who couldn’t meet in-person. This was particularly good for Emily, a Narrative Nester who had to move to upstate New York when her husband took a new job. She’s been joining us from two time zones over ever since.

Our goal was simple: a weekly writing check-in. But soon our accountability meetings stopped focusing on accountability.

They became so much more…

I’d open a group meeting with the intent of taking 15 minutes to discuss our writing plans and projects, but we’d talk for an hour. The topics covered the business of being a writer. We discussed platform building, marketing, social media, blogging, monetizing a website, SEO… the list went on and on.

Light bulb.

I’ve canceled all our accountability groups for the remainder of the year. I need to crawl into our rebranding cocoon and consider a new angle. When we return in the New Year, we will be less accountability, more think tank for the business of writing.

What does this mean for you?

It means that if you are serious about your writing, you have some of the best access to writing know-how in Phoenix. If you take advantage of all the Narrative Nest has to offer, you could join us for 2 hours of critique group feedback + 4 hours of marketing/branding for your blooming writing career a month. Free.

What are you waiting for?

We’ll see you in the New Year!

Nest News: Two Options, One Focus

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Momness is kicking ass in Phoenix. In case you haven’t heard, our monthly in-person critique group has a lovely new home at The Hive in Downtown Phoenix (Devin hosted the inaugural meeting there last Saturday.) Having the group in the heart of the Valley should give lots of women writers monthly access to the community. Every month the Narrative Nest will be nestled in with local women run businesses like Buzz Beans, Wasted Ink Zine Distro, and The Bee’s Knees.

I’ve been hanging out online four times a month with our hot mama writers who can’t meet in person. What was supposed to be a simple accountability meeting has turned into a think tank for writing entrepreneurs. Emily (one of our early members who moved to upstate New York) and I have been trading ideas on managing social media, blogging, and content creation, along with our bigger writing projects. I even gave Emily homework last week and she blew me away with updates to her platform! Now she’s holding my feet to the fire about productivity. Check out Scribbles From Emily to read all about her relocation across the country.

As we continue to move in these two directions, we’ll be even more available to all kinds of moms who write, but it’s a big time investment. As the Narrative Nest progresses, you may see either me (Blissom) or Devin online or in-person. Sometimes one of us, other times both. Because hey, this is our side gig. Devin’s still providing the best content creation advice at Kindred Word while I’m churning out self-editing tools and classes at The Naked Page.

Whew! With all these options, one thing’s for sure—you’ve got no excuse not to connect with us and take your writing to the next level!

How to Nurture Your Words

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“MEN NEED THIS!” his voiced boomed across the table at me as he lunged for my Mother Yourself Workbook. “Dad’s especially need to learn how to be more nurturing with their children.”

“Maybe you could put together a group like that for men. It’s a good idea, but our group is for women,” I said.

Devin & I had a Narrative Nest table on Saturday at the Meet Your Literary Community in Phoenix and questions arose about who the group was directed towards. I’m currently working on a freebie for the Naked Page that’s all about defining your ideal reader. So, who is the Narrative Nest’s ideal member? It’s a great question. We certainly started the Narrative Nest with moms in mind. Devin & I both wrangle children along with our freelance writing careers.

Are we for moms? Of course!

What about moms with foster or adopted kids? Absolutely!

Moms who foster fur babies? Why not?

Teachers who work with kids all day? Yes, they count, too!

Women who don’t fit into these other criteria but desire a supportive community of women writers with a more feminine approach than you may find in other critique groups? Most definitely.

What about dads? And men who need to learn about nurturing? Nope. Sorry, fellas. Get your own group.

Here’s where we draw a line in the sand. Why?

Try this exercise:

Close your eyes. Yes, you, really close them.

Say the word “mothered.” And picture what that looks like. Any feelings coming up for you?

Now say the word “fathered.” What’s that word look & feel like?

If you’re like most people, words like mothered, mothering, motherly will give you a sense of someone being nurtured, protected, warmly invited into a family or domestic experience.

But fathered? That one’s a bit different. Did you think of an instant biological experience? Ahhhh! Reproduction. That’s the one.

The truth is, you don’t need to be a mother to understand how to mother or be mothered. To nurture someone else, yourself, or even your words on a page.

I think you’ll agree with me, ladies. Men do need to learn how to nurture themselves and other people. But our group isn’t for them. We’re providing a feminine experience for women so they can share their stories and mother their book babies without the male gaze. We deserve this!

Marketing 101 taught me that you had to define your audience right down to their shoes. That may be true, but you’ll also find that if you have a target market, a secondary market will emerge.

Just to be clear about who the Narrative Nest serves at our writing critique groups:

Our Target Market: Mothers (if you identify, you’re in)

Our Secondary Market: Women who need to be in a supportive writing group to nurture their writing

Ladies, if you’ve got writing, we’ve got space for you.

**Our writing group is a LGBTQA friendly space.

Mom Time

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As soon as I became a mom, I was navigating split time like someone out of a sci-fi film: 1) Endless days and nights, often not sleeping, at the mercy of my little one’s every need 2) Weeks and months that raced by me without getting much writing or editing done.  

It’s this time conundrum that’ll drive you bonkers!

Lucky us, last month we introduced accountability meetings into the Nest. Devin and I discovered that chatting on Zoom once a week (two times at night, two in the morning) meant we could have the kids around and still move forward on our writing projects. Planning and discussing counts, too! And sharing your current project is even better.

If you haven’t yet joined us for one of these meetings, pop over to the Accountability heading and you’ll find all the dates and times available. The meetings should be the perfect speed for anyone who’s writing but can’t meet in-person.

If you would like to get a good look at us, you can find us at Meet Your Literary Community on Oct 6th, 2018 from 8-noon at the Phoenix Public Market. We’ll be doing mini- writing critique sessions, so if you have a writing question, idea, or a page or two of notes, come prepared to sit with us for some feedback. And there’ll be literary games for the kids, too!

 

 

Is it Time to Start a New Practice?

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Feeling in a rut? Maybe it's time to make room for something new.  

Starting a writing practice has been scientifically proven to have key benefits for your mental health. And writing and sharing your work in a supportive environment can amplify those benefits. 

We've been working hard at building writing workshops that address issues many moms face like trauma during the birth process or in a miscarriage, managing postpartum depression and the daily isolation of mothering, along with business writing for work at home moms. And we've been so happy to hear great feedback about the spiritual and emotional impact writing can have on motherhood. 

We are so excited to announce our first Narrative Nest Writing Critique Group coming this Saturday, May 26th at 1pm. Sign up for details, if you haven't already. 

This group is for anyone who wants to give and receive feedback on the writing process. We'll open this month's meeting with our topic: Getting the Most Out of a Critique Group. So if you've never had a critique group experience and want to take your writing to the next level, or even just get started with the writing process, we'd love to have you join us.