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Why is there a picture of a stone wall on my Facebook profile?

On December 29th (2022), I took a great class given by Vanessa Martir entitled, Master Manifesting: Setting Writing Intentions for 2023. It was a great class, chock full of inspiration and really helped me craft S.M.A.R.T. writing goals for the coming year. One of the exercises she led us through was to visualize our personal writing metaphor. At first, I was a little skeptical. What exactly was this supposed to help me do? But as the seconds ticked by and my classmates were earnestly scribbling, I thought about it a little deeper. What is writing like for me? If my focus is the practice, not the product, what is an apt metaphor?

I’m a New Englander so I decided it’s like building a stone wall. The wall may be stone but its creation is organic; the stones are collected from the adjacent field as it’s plowed and stacked in a line, more or less. How one builds a stone wall is a personal choice. You can do a single long line of stones first, or build up some portions more than others. Stones can be rearranged, just like scenes, and you can skip ahead to the good part if you want, reaching the full height of a portion of the wall before finishing the rest if you so desire. The wall is never quite done. There will always be stones that tumble back to the ground after a heavy snow or a storm. If new field is cleared, new stones will be uncovered to be added. A stone wall is a life’s work.

The identification of the metaphor helped me think critically about my writing practice. In the new year, I will build my practice stone by stone.

And a shout out to the amazing and talented Vanessa Martir! Her website is If you have a chance to take a class with her, you really should.

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