Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection (Butterfly Press, 2014)
Throughout this book, authors Wendy Judith Cutler, Ahava Shira and Lynda Monk explore how writers journal, what we journal about and how our journal writing has helped shape who we are personally, culturally, politically and spiritually. We show you how to cultivate this practice in your life: through prompts and exercises, quotations from women writers, our personal journal entries and suggestions for creating your own circles of women writing together. Woven throughout this book are universal themes we discovered through our writing and being together such as intimacy, creativity, sexuality, mothering, coming-out, work, family, friendships and relationships.
At the heart of this book is our belief that Writing Alone Together changes lives and, consequently, the world. This is our story: a weave of three women in words, journalling alone and together for the joy, pleasure and sanity of it. This is how we cope, how we celebrate, how we learn, how we listen, how we play.
We invite you into this conversation with ourselves on the page, ourselves and the world, ourselves and our lives. We encourage you to bask in the brilliance of your own words and those of other women, to honour all of your truths, to acknowledge your courage and to open your heart as you write for yourself and with others.
To learn more about Writing Alone Together, visit http://writingalonetogether.com/
Read a review by Margriet Ruurs on the Saltspring Exchange here:
Read a review in the Vancouver Sun here: http://www.vancouversun.com/story_print.html?id=10830207&sponsor=true
From Glenda Goodrich:
“Writing Alone Together is an inspiring combination of how to start your own writing group along with provocative writing prompts and beautiful excerpts from the three authors’ own work. It makes me want to find other kindred spirits, start writing together, and form our own intimate little community to witness and support one another on the journey.”
Glenda Goodrich, Mixed Media Artist and SoulCollage® Facilitator http://www.glendagoodrich.com
From Trista Hendren:
“This is a beautiful book written collectively by three talented women.
Writing Alone Together is critical reading for all women and girls. Having participated in many of Wendy’s writing circles over the last 20 years, I was uncertain what this book could accomplish for me personally. I was pleasantly surprised to feel the same warmth and intimacy I have sitting in circles with women. In a world that is increasingly far too busy, we are losing our physical circles far too often. With this book, you can get a glimpse of their importance. Writing Alone Together will pull you back into yourself and push you back into consciousness regarding the importance of sisterhood. Only by writing our stories authentically, boldly and honestly can we bring healing to our world. We have been silenced far too long; made to feel like our stories aren’t important or good enough. Ending with Wendy’s poem, ‘Circles of Women’ could not have been more perfect for this book. ‘Write anything.’ Indeed! ”
Trista Hendren, Writer, Author, Facilitator-Coach
“Well written & inspirational. Can be read from cover to cover or taken in small doses when looking for motivation to write. Suitable for anyone- those who wish to be writers but don’t know where to start to established writing groups.”
“For those thinking of starting a personal journal, this book is the inspiration that will help. The authors share their wisdom with prompts and guides to help the journal writer, with emphasis on sharing with others in a circle of fellow writers. They generously share their own writings as well, to inspire and help launch the incipient journal writer on the path to self-discovery, and foster a feeling of community among others.”
Available on Salt Spring Island at:
~ Salt Spring Books ~ The Mercantile ~ Treasures of the Heart ~ ~Black Sheep Books ~ Waterfront Gallery
On Vancouver Island at:
~ Volume One ~ Triple Spiral ~
To purchase a copy on-line click here.
Praise for Writing Alone Together
“Part collaborative memoir, part self-help, this book in three voices offers seasoned guidance and structure to start and sustain a shared-leadership women’s writing group, particularly for those new to journal writing and/or support circles. The authors’ pure love of writing for creative self-expression, and for the power of writing in community, shines through on every page.”
–Kathleen Adams, LPC, CEO, Center for Journal Therapy, Inc., author of Journal to the Self and editor of Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice
“Writing Alone Together is both a culmination and a beginning. Through seven years of collaboration, Wendy, Lynda and Ahava have generously and joyfully produced a book to spark and support other women who seek to create journalling circles—to write their lives together.”
–Judith Arcana, author of several books, including a biography of Grace Paley, and a member of “Jane” an abortion service in the seventies in Chicago
“Writing Alone Together is a beautiful book that encourages, inspires, and guides writers to create their own journaling communities. Through their shared experiences, prompts, and wisdom, Lynda, Wendy, and Ahava show that writing is far from a solitary act—rather, it’s one that we can use not only to learn more about ourselves but also to deepen our connection to others.”
–Hannah Braime, coach and founder of Becoming Who You Are
“I wholeheartedly recommend Writing Alone Together. My own journal experience started in much the same way that Wendy, Lynda and Ahava present here. Sharing my newly begun personal journal with a close friend who was open and supportive gave me the encouragement I needed. Soon I found my two careers in art and child development morphing into the new field of Art Therapy, specializing in Creative Journal groups in our community. That was 1976. As a pioneer in journal groups, I can vouch for this book. It not only guides the reader in how to organize and structure a group using powerful journal prompts, but reveals the texture, sound and feeling of real women working and growing together, telling their stories. Brava! A much needed book.”
–Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R., R.E.A.T., art therapist and author of The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself and The Power of Your Other Hand
“Writing Alone Together is both inspirational and practical, offering a wealth of advice for any woman who wants to journal or be part of a journal writing group. The book will serve the growing need of women who wish to express themselves and create a new culture of open communication during these transformative times.”
— Lorraine Gane, author of The Way the Light Enters, The Blue Halo and other books of poetry and prose
“These writers know–instinctively and from much experience–what scientists are just now discovering: That no matter the public reach of a work, the act of expressive writing is both healing and invigorating. In its most vital form, our storytelling becomes a practice at once personal, political, and communal. Take this book’s invitation.”
–Ariel Gore, founding editor of Hip Mama and author of The End of Eve
“Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection is fired in the heart’s sacred and wild wisdom. Wendy Judith Cutler, Lynda Monk, and Ahava Shira have been writing a long time, alone and together. Based on their long life practices of journal writing, they offer us rare gifts of testimony, insight, courage, and encouragement. By weaving their distinct voices in a creative composition of stories, poetry, writing prompts, pedagogical insights, quotations, and ruminations, they call out a hopeful vision for transforming the world by attending to the energy of language for translating and transfusing our being and becoming as people in relationship with one another and with the whole of creation. This book bears witness to the compelling possibilities of nurturing wellness and sustainability in individual and communal lives by learning to communicate with ourselves and with one another.”
–Carl Leggo, poet and professor at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada and editor of A Heart of Wisdom: Life Writing as Empathetic Inquiry
“What a valuable book! Writing Alone Together records and makes available to all the egalitarian, collective structure and process of women’s journaling groups. It tells how to form a leaderless group and illustrates how to sustain a journal circle, so that each member is valued and nurtured towards fulfilling er individual voice and story. As a piece of writing itself, Writing Alone Together is a triumph of collective composition, the creation of three authors blended into a unified voice, at once lucid, wise and inspiring.”
–Tristine Rainer, author of The New Diary: How to Use a Journal for Self-Guidance and Expanded Creativity and Your Life as Story: Writing the New Autobiography
“It’s rare to be taken inside the experience of what is required of us as writers. In Writing Alone Together, Wendy Judith Cutler, Lynda Monk and Ahava Shira track how devotion and collaboration combust with alone and together to fuel us.”
–Betsy Warland, author of Breathing the Page: Reading the Act of Writing