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 move across the country.

Moving in both directions gives us the opportunity to be available to all kinds of moms who write, but it’s a lot of 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 more blogs and self-editing tools 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.  

A Creative Writer Constructs a Website

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! 

I've been a writer as long as I can remember. I get it. I know story structure, plot lines, and character analysis. I was a damn English teacher! But this web stuff is a different animal.

Do you ever feel like this? 

"Write a blog," they said.

So, I did.

And the blog turned into a website and the website turned into a business and the business needed copywriting. It was my own version of  "there was an old lady who swallowed a fly..."  Never ending... and death seemed inevitable. 

But once I got into the flow, it wasn't so bad. A piece of copy here, a change of wording there. And nobody even bit the big one. Not me or the old lady. 

Today, I'm finding even more ways to infuse creativity into my copy. There's a learning curve and a time component right up front. But I think learning to write in small chunks and writing words that sell is helping all my writing. It's certainly a way to write while the baby's napping. 

What about you? Do you get stuck trying to be creative in your copy?

We'd love to hear how you move from creative writing to website copy.