February 2024: DEDICATE
Writing prompts and reflections to support you all month long
Welcome back to #AcWriMoments, a yearlong experiment in purposeful scholarship creation. On the first day of each month in 2024, we offer you a guidepost with a unique theme and simple prompts for living out the theme as a scholar and a human. Return to the guidepost all month long, anytime you need support for cultivating SACRED (strategic, artisanal, creative, reflective, embodied, delicious) moments of communion with yourself and your work. May these offerings encourage you in your pursuit of whatever goals and visions you deem worthy of your attention—the most precious resource you have.
Theme for February 2024: DEDICATE
To DEDICATE is to set apart, especially for a sacred purpose. When we dedicate our time, energy, resources, or the fruits of our labor to a particular cause or object of devotion, we are showing ourselves and the world what we value. We’re investing in what matters most.
Writing doesn’t have to be at the center of your life to receive your Dedication. Even in stolen moments carved from the margins of your life, you can offer it your highest integrity and purest intentions. Fittingly, the name for this month, February, derives from an ancient Roman festival of purification.
Releasing your “finished” work to the world can be an act of Dedication too. When you offer your writing to someone or something beyond you — readers, family, community — your words can travel and transform in ways you might not have imagined. Your scholarship can be Dedicated to anyone and everyone whose mind is opened by your ideas.
What are you Dedicated to in your work? What feels “worth it” to you? What treasures, tangible and intangible, do you value most?
How do you know when you’re on the right track as you head in the direction of your goals or dreams?
When you focus on what you value most in your work, what falls away, revealing itself to be less important?
PRACTICES & EXPERIMENTS
Dedicate a space. If you already have a physical space dedicated to your writing, take some time to clean and/or organize it this month. Pay attention to its shape, details, quality of light, or any features that strike you, and notice how they flavor your work process or product. If you don’t have a dedicated space for your work, see if you can clear out a corner of a room or a stretch of blank wall for this purpose. Consider this an opportunity to remind yourself that you believe in and value your work.
Dedicate a document. If your current project exists in the form of multiple drafts, and you feel ready to distill and commit to a single master draft, try consolidating all of your drafts into one main document. The other drafts can become notes and source documents that you pull from as you build out your main draft and develop it into the version you’ll submit. Alternatively, if you’re in a messier phase of the process, see if you can consolidate some of your notes into a smaller number of documents to focus on. To what thesis might you Dedicate your newly assembled document(s)?
Dedicate yourself. You are your own greatest offering. When you dedicate yourself, you offer your full attention and care to a specific person, task, project, value, or cause. This month, try warming up for your scholarly writing sessions with a few minutes of free-writing in response to the prompt, “Today, I dedicate myself to . . . .” Try to come up with a different noun or verb each day, then let your writing flow from there.
As you live the theme of Dedicate this month, what possibilities open up for you that you hadn’t noticed before? How does Dedicate, as a lens, help you commit to what you value and hold onto your purpose as you navigate the obstacles—and receive the gifts—that life sends your way?
Thank you for joining us for #AcWriMoments! We’d love to hear from you. Please drop us a comment to let us know what you’re learning, trying, and discovering this month.&
COURSES & COMMUNITY: Want to dedicate yourself to finding pleasure and purpose in your writing? Sign up for Helen’s 6-week Pleasure Catalyst, which starts on February 3! Members of Helen’s global WriteSPACE community get up to 20% off.
SERVICES & WORKSHOPS: Wishing for one-on-one support as you develop your scholarly project for publication? Learn how Margy’s Story-Argument Foundations Service can guide your every step. For a communal experience, consider booking an interactive, on-site Story-Argument Workshop customized to the needs and goals of your group. Set up a free call today to explore possibilities!