As well as teaching and inspiring women, Dean is a local contributor for the Austin Statesman, and her funny piece on making voting sexy and hip was published today. We love the idea of bands playing at the polls to attract voters. See, she’s so creative.
In her Write Your Life as a Woman classes, Dean asks attendees to sign a contract, and it’s so inspirational, we wanted to share it here.
I, _____________________________________________, on this ______ day of _____________, 20__, do bravely enter into this agreement with myself to treat myself to the soul-filling creative undertaking of a writing workshop.
1. I agree to try wholeheartedly to arrive on time. If I arrive late I’ll dive right in to the download writing exercise with no “I’m sorry’s” or guilt.
2. I agree to keep my pen moving during all timed exercises, even if I completely run out of things to say because if I stop writing I might start judging and editing.
a. I will feel free to write absolute drivel, or “I have nothing to say.” Over and over.
b. I will write whatever I am thinking even if it’s “I don’t know what to write…”or I don’t want to be here…”
c. If feeling stuck, I will boldly attempt to jump start my writing by beginning sentences with: “I remember… I don’t remember… I want to write about… I don’t want to write about…”
3. Without hesitation I will write my first thoughts even if they’re not neat and tidy. These ideas are uncensored, sincere and usually things I really need to write out of my head and onto paper.
4. At no point will I bother my pretty little head with such trivial matters as grammar, punctuation or spelling. I shall dispense with such ridiculous worries as grades, red pens, permanent records and concerned phone calls to my parents.
5. Should I ever decide to, I’ll “pass” on reading out loud without scorn from my classmates or shame from myself.
6. I absolutely, positively, swear I will not apologize before reading my writing out loud.
a. This includes masked apologies such as “It’s really not very good,” or “I’m not a good writer, but I’ll read anyway.”
b. I will honor the class motto of “Never say you’re sorry before you read.”
7. Upon receiving a compliment I will graciously accept it without one iota of deferral, and I will take at least one entire moment to bask in the pleasure of receiving praise.
8. No matter what topic is suggested I will always be true to my heart and mind and follow my pen where it leads me.
9. I will help create and honor this class as a “safe psychic space” which means it is free of emotional and mental abuse.
10. Simply by being present I commit to honoring others’ privacy. What happens in class stays in class.
11. My mind will remain open to experiences and beliefs different than mine.
12. In all ways I will be kind, encouraging and supportive to others and to myself.
By signing below, I agree to the above, so I, and those gathered with me, might find great joy in writing, creating, exploring and playing.