When I started today’s post, I had no idea what I was going to write about. So I began putting words on the page as if I’d already completed the thing that needed to be written. It’s a little mind trick, yes, but I simply gave up control and let words flow in free-form, almost mindless, fashion, which is uncomfortable for me . . . because I like structure and organization and tidiness. And I like to be in control. As writers with will—and humans with excess hubris—we convince ourselves we have total power to dictate and manipulate the writing process. On the first day of the annual Story Camp writing retreat, we do a workshop exercise that allows the release of these illusions of control over creativity.

It’s liberating.

And it requires massive trust in the creative process we so desperately try to make compliant. It requires trust that our muses have our backs, trust that ideas will come and words will flow, trust that allowing messiness in a first draft makes way for magic in later versions. As I have administered and participated in this exercise, I have come to believe that the act of putting words on the page is a hallowed act of trust. TRUST has been my overriding theme for 2017, for me personally, as well as for Around the Writer’s Table—perhaps especially for AWT. Just as I’ve learned to trust in the writer’s creative process, I have had to learn lessons in trust in all parts of my personal life and my professional endeavors.

Trusting when I’d rather be controlling hasn’t been easy.

I want to be in charge of circumstances and situations, people and outcomes. I want things to be the way I want them to be. But that’s not life, is it? Surrendering to trust can be terrifying. It’s an endless effort I resist even though I’ve witnessed the goodness that results from it. I believe blessings are buoyed by trust. Yet still, I must persistently reaffirm that trust is the way forward for me. I do, after all, have plenty of evidence. Two years ago in November, I trusted that leaving my stressful but decent-paying corporate job with health insurance and other benefits was the right decision and, since then, I have received bountiful confirmation of what surrendering to trust can do. The blessings have been remarkable. Trusting in my decision made it possible for me to be present with family these last two years during times of bereavement and celebration—times I couldn’t have taken off the clock previously unless I had permission from a corporate god. Because I trusted, I’ve been able to participate in and/or host eight writing retreats in Florida and North Carolina over the last two years, with three more to come in January (this still blows my mind!). Trusting that the future holds what it should has brought me talented and kind clients I am grateful for every single day. Because I have trusted, my business has grown—not without sacrifice and worry, but in a way I never dreamed would be so rewarding. Because I trust that what I need will come, a new friend and advisor has been brought into my life, a true gift; trust also brought me two more talented and enthusiastic interns who will join us in 2018. The driving force that will lead AWT into some exciting new endeavors this next year is my trust that surrounding myself with ethical, loving, smart people and purposefully putting one foot in front of the other will take me where I’m destined to go. Because I have trusted and continue to trust in what the Universe and the Divine have in store for me, I have an abundance of friends who uplift me, an inspiring community of writer-friends, a mastermind group who challenges me to better myself, a husband who is unceasingly supportive, and family who fills my heart and soul with love. Yes, the evidence is there. Because I trust, I am blessed. And I will trust—despite worry, resistance, and fear—that more goodness is to come in 2018. I wish each and every one of you a new year filled with blessings, and I hold the hope that you, too, can buoy your blessings with trust. Love to you all and Happy New Year! Gina Hogan Edwards

Gina Edwards is a retreat leader, a certified creativity coach, and a book editor. She is also a writer, so she’s intimately familiar with the challenges and elation that come with being one.

She supports all writers—published and aspiring—who want to write as an act of courageous and necessary self-expression.

Walking the writer’s path hand-in-hand with her clients and students, she helps them establish a writing practice and define a creative life on their own terms.


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