We live and tell stories from our life every day but finding the words to commit to the page can be really challenging.
We want them to be the right words. We want them to sound great, like the writers we admire.
But our lives contain many more than one storyline. These crisscross and intertwine like the yarn in a complex tapestry.
Which color? How much? And in what order? These choices make it hard to pull out that single thread we want to express for that article you may be writing, presentation you are preparing, social media promotion, academic assignment, essay, memoir or story for the stage.
But it can be found and when we do, it’s so gratifying! To communicate an idea, write or tell a story from your life, speak your mind, say what you want to say so that others understand is an extraordinary experience. It’s like the first moment a child is understood by someone else – it’s a hallelujah! There’s been a successful exchange. In the language of the weaver, it’s called “double ending” – two ends are woven as one. Down deep, I believe that’s what we all want. To be heard. Understood. Seen.
It may begin as the work of the mind, but once it moves from our heads through our hearts and into our hands and onto the page, it’s handwork, craftspersonship. It enables us to leave a part of ourselves in the world.
This year, I took enormous pleasure in helping to facilitate and witness others find their storyline as a coach and teacher. I learn so much during this process.
From the psychotherapist working on a feature article, I was reminded of how we struggle to find a balance between our professional and personal voice on the page.
From the educator preparing a multi-media presentation illustrating how she approached sensitive topics with women in other countries, I learned how productively we can exchange ideas without a shared language.
From the activist who wanted to improve his social media posts, I saw how content and passion can often be more compelling than spelling and grammar.
From the writer who sent draft after draft in an effort to understand her origin story, I was moved by how determined we are to make meaning from our experience.
From the novelist-turned-memoirist, I was struck by the impact of changing the sentences from she/he to “I.”
And when a student becomes a contributor to Thread or Stitch, what a gift for the writer, the editor and reader! Four pieces generated by current or former students in my workshops were a fit for Stitch this year. Check out the beautiful 100-word work of Renee Moses, Marie Davidson, Carol Skahen and Sarah Crewe (forthcoming in March.)
This month also marks the end of a robust year for Thread and Stitch:
- Thread earned its second notable in Best American Essays and celebrates five years of publication! Watch for the Spring Issue in March/April 2019. Save May 2, 2019 for an evening of stories at the Skokie Theatre, a night we’re calling Threadaversary.
- Stitch posted its 30th flash essay.
- A shout-out to Alexandra Yetter, who gifted both publications with her astute administrative, editorial and production support as our first intern.
It has also been a productive year in my own realm as a writer and storyteller which energizes and allows me to support others:
- I completed my memoir and found a wonderful agent who has been working incredibly hard as its representative.
- My hometown of Skokie honored me with its Artistic Award of Excellence in June.
- I told stories on several outstanding stages including You’re Being Ridiculous, Story Sessions and Do Not Submit. I’ll be telling one at Homewood Stories on December 18.
Holiday discount offer! In appreciation for my students, coaching clients and readers – and in time for the holidays – I am offering discount incentives for getting a project underway. Contact me before December 31, 2018 and schedule an appointment for January, February or March, and you will receive a 10% discount on one or three-hour coaching session. (That’s $30 off a three-hour session and $15 off one hour!)
To the festivity of the season and a more peace-filled new year!
Find Thread and Stitch on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
3 thoughts on “When Two Strands Become One”
Congrats on all your achievements, Ellen!
Thanks, Sheri! It’s been quite a year.
This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!