About Lane

Writing has always been part of my work, but only recently has it become my work. On my wage-earning journey, I have meandered through college classrooms , libraries, women’s clinics, hospitals, and self-employment. I have taught freshman composition, business writing, reading improvement, and public speaking; written policies and procedures, annual reports, and thousands of business letters; co-written and designed five small books on English grammar, vocabulary improvement, and the business writing process; owned and worked an apple orchard, and founded (with my partner) and operated, for more than 20 years, a small training and consulting business.

Along the way, I wrote quite a bit of poetry, and a little prose, and sporadically kept journals. “Real” writing was something I pushed ahead of me, waiting for time, waiting for inspiration, waiting for courage.

I found Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way. I began a novel. I wrote short stories. I took my laptop on camping trips, sneaking over to sites with electricity when the battery ran down. I took a writing workshop at a local center, and cried all the way home from my first critique.

Somewhere I found the courage to send a writing sample as application to Richard Bausch’s 2000 Heritage Workshop at George Mason University. My reward was 12 weeks of shared, careful reviews under the eye of a master storyteller whose insight was matched by his gentleness. I began to hear, and to write, in the southern voices I have been soaking up all my life.

But within a year, I was once again struggling. Like many people, I didn’t believe in writer’s block. I believed in lack of discipline, and cowardice, bad habits and bad choices.

In 2005, I moved with my husband to  North Carolina, where I joined Winston-Salem Writers, and soon learned that Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone & With Others, and founder of an organization called Amherst Writers & Artists, would be offering a retreat in the spring. I signed up, without a glimmer of a hint that these five days would transform my sense of myself as a writer.

With her typical generosity, Pat made it possible for me to attend one of her weekend workshops in Amherst, and invited me to stay in her house. Midway through the retreat, in that airy upstairs room with its iron bed and blue and white quilt, possibility settled on my shoulders like a mantle. “This is like writing church,” I thought.

I went back as often as I could, attended all but one of Pat’s North Carolina retreats, and helped with several. In 2009, I was trained as an AWA-method workshop leader, and became an affiliate. Elected to the board 2012, I served as chair from January of 2017 thrugh December of 2020. AWA itself became one of my excuses!

These days, writing is central to my life. I still have my struggles with writer’s block, but I have witnessed and experienced the workings of the AWA method in my writing, and in others’. Finding prompts, writing in community, reading, listening, and responding frees my voice while it frees others.

Endorsement of Lane’s Facilitation

A good writing workshop is a safe place to experiment, to gain courage as well as skill, to learn – in short, to write.  Lane Goddard is a brilliant workshop leader; I know of no one I would personally rather have as guide and mentor.  If you possibly can, take this opportunity!

~ Pat Schneider, author, Writing Alone and With Others, and How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice, both from Oxford University Press.