Writing When the Spirit Moves You

By guest blogger Marilyn Agee

Please help me welcome one of my students from the Ace Your 10K Day! online course, Marilyn, with her amazing 10K Day experience. ~ Milli

Mikey Dog with Magic

Mikey Dog (front)
with his friend Magic

I’ve had a book about my dog, Mikey, in my head for a long time. When I was in Milli’s coffeehouse workshop, writing from her story prompts, I began to gear all my stories around my remembrances of Mikey, who is no longer with us. This creative writing gave me a lot of preparation for the 10K day.

When the day finally came, I couldn’t write fast enough! The stories were all in my head and all I had to do was type. That was back in June 2009, at my very first 10K Day. So that day I was successful, reaching 10,174 words. Never to achieve 10,000 words again.

Milli’s online course prepared me for my April 2012 10K experience. I knew what I wanted to do. I had let Mikey’s book rest for over a year—but, inspired by the course assignments, and having mentoring and direction from Milli as part of the course, I decided to work on the Mikey Dog book again.

I went back to my original table of contents. I re-read some of the old stories and decided to re-write some of them and I still had a few chapters left. I did pretty well that day but it was coming to the end of the day and I only had around 8,000 words. I was feeling pretty tired at this point. I had gotten a late start that day and it was 5:30, which meant it was time to feed all my animals. I didn’t really feel like writing any more and, in fact, told the 10K group on the check-in page at the Fear of Writing blog that I would probably bag it for the evening.

I was walking up to my barn to feed my horses when I remembered something Milli had said to me earlier. “Call on the spirit of Mikey Dog!” So I did. And suddenly it was as if he was right there walking up to the barn with me. I felt tears in my eyes just knowing he was there with me.

These triggering questions came to me: What did he mean to me in my life? How did he make my life better? What did he give me that made such an imprint?

In my tired state I found new strength and went back to my desk to write.

I remembered a childhood dog and some of the similarities he and Mikey had. I began to open up and write from my gut. Here’s part of my final report from that 10K day:

10,040, baby! I had a great night’s sleep and feel like a weight has lifted. Guess I had some emotional baggage to get rid of.

What can I say? I was too close to quit and I think the spirit of Mikey Dog was following me back from the barn. Suddenly I went off in a crazy direction and my fingers blazed. I did have a ton of typos and if I spelled a word that was unrecognizable I wrote it over again until I could make out some part of the word. So that raised my word count. But the memories and the story line came in like a flood. Maybe a little exhaustion kicks in the right brain. And a martini didn’t hurt to open an emotionally locked dam.

Fun project, Milli! I’m so glad I did this and I can’t imagine doing this course without your mentoring. So helpful.

After taking Milli’s Ace Your 10K Day! course I feel I’m so much better equipped to take part in this monthly event. I highly recommend it! Even if you don’t care about writing 10,000 words in one day, it’s a course that will spur your imagination. It was surprisingly a lot more fun than I was expecting. I thought it would be more like “work.”

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Marilyn Agee, writer

Marilyn Agee

I was born and raised in Texas and I live in the Texas Hill Country. We have three horses, three dogs and three cats. I am a retired interior designer and have a constant need for creative outlets. I have one book published, an anthology written by myself and five others. We all belong to Milli’s writing workshop and meet every Tuesday morning in a coffee shop. We decided to compile our short stories, mostly written from Milli’s creative prompts, and self publish Percolations: Musings From a Texas Hill Country Coffee Shop. I’m also submitting short stories to be published in e-books for a group of like-minded horse people called The Writing Stable.

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