How I Learned to Live and Write with Intention

In November 2010, I hosted a speed networking event at the Galway Hooker in NYC, a bar just a few blocks south of where I used to work full-time for an academic book publisher.*

The event was a shot-in-the-dark idea I had for promoting my brand new career coaching business… one idea among many.

I paired up with Marian Schembari to plan and co-host the event. Together, we filled the space with publishing professionals we’d connected with over the course of our careers.

We filled that room with 25 publishing experts, and then — through a promotional push borne of the fear that no one would show up — we managed to fill the room with 50 more people eager to speed network with them.

The event was a resounding success, and I often thought of hosting more of them.

I never did.

The other week, I gave a speech at my local Toastmasters meetup about being a slash careerist. I talked about finding happiness again and again with the mix of work I do. But people change, I told them. Passions change. Goals and careers change, I told them, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Since going full-time freelance, I’ve changed course a number of times. Time and again, however, I’ve found myself writing listicle upon listicle — or copyediting poorly-written listings — just to pay the bills, pushing passion projects to the side for things that bring more immediate financial rewards.

Then, almost a year ago, I started practicing yoga seriously. I fell in love with it because of the way it made me feel: strong, fit, and flexible, yes, but also more peaceful, more even-tempered, more overcome with gratitude, and more content.

At the beginning of each vinyasa class, we were asked to set an intention for the next hour and a half of flow.

But I wanted to live my yoga practice all day long. I wanted to live with intention.

Shortly after starting yoga, I also started writing a book… something I’d dreamed of doing since I was very young. I also started to set aside time for writing projects that were more meaningful to me… personal essays and service pieces that focused on the issues that loomed large in my life. I began to see firsthand that living my yoga was helping me find fulfillment in my career. I thought to myself: How can I share this with my writing community?

This coming August, me and fellow writer/yogi Kim Stevens-Redstone are hosting a combination writing and yoga event — Creative Flow: A Word Nerd Event for Those Who Want to Stretch Their Creative Muscles. A mix of yoga flow and writing workshop, attendees will learn to look inward in order to generate story ideas and write with intention. This four-hour event will include:

  • a one-hour vinyasa flow
  • a half hour of yoga nidra / guided meditation
  • a lecture on where to find writing inspiration, and how to generate story ideas
  • hands-on writing exercises
  • and more.

Space for this event is limited to 25 people. We plan to start promoting it heavily a month from now, but I wanted to give my closest word nerd posse a head start chance to get in on this fabulous event first. After all, this is the very first Word Nerd Networking event since 2010!

And it won’t be the last one.

Because this week, I also launched my new web baby: WordNerdNetworking.com.

Created as a means of providing word nerds with the benefits of community in a virtual space, the beta version of this site offers tips on networking and community-building. It also has an events page, with a form for those who would like to submit listings for their own, word nerd-friendly events.

And later this summer, the site will also act as home base for an online, members-only, word nerd community. This community will offer goodies like an office porn pin board, a resource library, and an interactive wall facilitating the cross-pollination of ideas. Most exciting of all, however, it will feature a matchmaking service for those seeking out coworking partners, writing partners, and accountability buddies, an idea inspired by the overwhelming response to my own, tongue-in-cheek writing partner personals ad. (Sign up for irregular site updates and event news here.)

I’m super-excited about Word Nerd Networking. In fact, I keep staring at the site and telling it how pretty it is. (A special thanks to Sheena Green for designing the logo, and to my long-suffering husband, Michael Auteri, for developing the site according to my very specific vision.) I hope you’re excited about it, too, and that we’ll all hang out there and make friendship bracelets and braid each other’s hair and become freelance superstars together.

So how can you live with intention? And how can we, as a community, help you?

*Parts of this post are pulled from the latest issue of Word Nerd News. If you’re not yet subscribed, you should get on that.

Related: Inch by Inch: How Small Steps Lead to Big Success, How to Throw an Event That Rocks the House, How to Build Your Network Without Having a Panic Attack

Comments

  1. What a great idea! I love the combo of yoga and writing. Yoga has changed me a lot also, but mostly I hear my instructor telling me to sit with my shoulders back while I am sitting here at the computer!

  2. Love, love, LOVE the idea of combining yoga and writing. Man, I wish I lived closer, because I’d for sure participate. Also love the intention part of yoga — and bringing that into real life. I need to put my intention on a post-it on my computer screen. I tend to forget about it after I leave yoga. 🙂

  3. Yoga and writing…what a great combo. I’m sure one promotes the other …and yoga opens your creative ability, if you stay tuned into that feeling.

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