One of the best ways to become good friends with someone is to let your guard down and share some of your inner most thoughts and feelings. Things that have been rumbling around inside of you for a long time. I didn’t expect to love five strangers, in five days, by doing this or to bond with them in such a profound way, but I did, and our connection with one another is deep and real.
We have become trusted friends.
I met my dear friends last week at Linda Sivertsen’s Carmel Writing Retreat in Carmel, California. We were five women, six including Linda, who came together to learn from her and to have some of her #bookmagic rub off on us.
Linda has an uncanny way of diving into the heart of what you’ve written and pulling out the gems. Then she offers ways to polish them until they sparkle.
Linda Sivertsen is a self-described book proposal doctor, author whisperer and midwife or #bookmama to many bestselling books. She’s an agent connector, idea fairy and the author/co-author of eleven books, including two, New York Times bestsellers and a hit digital book, Your Big Beautiful Book Plan, a must read if you want to secure a book agent and a publisher. She is also the host of the uber popular Beautiful Writers Podcast.
You don’t have to be a writer to listen to and enjoy the conversations between Linda and her guests—bestselling authors, agents and book editors—because they talk about more than books. They offer wisdom about life and the staying power needed to make it across the finish line. They reflect on creativity and spirituality, and they share their hard-earned street smarts about the book business. Linda’s guests are too numerous to count, but some of the names you may recognize are Cheryl Strayed, Elizbeth Gilbert, Tom Hanks, Terry McMillan, Glennon Doyle, Candice Bergen, Dani Shapiro and Marianne Williamson.
Every day at Linda’s writers’ retreat we wrote, ate fabulous food, read our work aloud and cried over what we’d written. We bonded over good tears and unhappy tears, and in some cases, tears of relief. Some of us, like me, were sharing secrets with strangers that we’ve kept hidden for much of our lives. The words we read to one another began as notes to ourselves on our computer, or thoughts we’ve kept in paper journals. Our words and remembrances became therapy for our souls.
If I can pass anything on to you from my week in Carmel, it’s that we must let go of our secrets.
Perhaps you can confide in a trusted friend who won’t judge you, a therapist or maybe you can chronicle your thoughts in a journal. Regardless we need to find ways to unburden ourselves because secrets are toxic.
Last week I met five other women I now love, and I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything. Like soldiers on the battlefield who step-in and lift one another up when our strength and courage ebbs, we will continue to be there for one another. Do you have someone like that in your life? If not perhaps you might give some thought about finding one.
If you’re a writer, and you’re ready to take the next step with your writing, you might checkout Linda’s Carmel writing retreats. It is one of the best gifts you will ever give yourself.