January 1, 2020
$315 | 8 Weeks
Your high school English teacher praised your personal essay. Maybe you read a story in front of your class and received positive feedback. You might have even published a poem in an anthology. The writing bug bit. You may or may not have nourished that bug at the time. But now it’s biting again. Where to begin? The choices are overwhelming. Fiction or nonfiction? Blog or short story? Humor or serious commentary?
That’s the kind of bad news—so many choices and you have no idea where to start. The good news is that somewhere inside of you, you know where to start. You simply need to give expression to your writing self. This course will encourage that expression. You’ll be given personal essay questions to ponder and respond to. Questions like: What’s going on in my life when I feel the urge to write? What moves me when I’m listening? What outrages me so that I find it difficult to focus?
In this course, you’ll learn the difference between fiction and nonfiction, how sensory description can put the spark and emotion into any piece of writing, that the decision to write means making space in your life, that writers are thinkers and feelers and how that translates to the page. Assignments will be kept short, but might make your head hurt—and sometimes your heart. You can do this!
Writing in Flow; Keys to Enhanced Creativity by Susan K. Perry, Ph.D. (recommended but not required)
Week One: Getting Real
The place to begin is with an honest appraisal of yourself as a writer, a role you may have trouble easily slipping into. What are the obstacles that are blocking your path to success?
Assignment: To write an honest profile of yourself, using questions to be provided by instructor.
Week Two: Nurturing the Muse
The creative part of yourself needs regular attention. The muse needs time and space to ponder, to wonder, to get into the flow of your writing project. How can you regularly nurture your muse every single day of this course?
Assignment: To write a short persuasive essay about a political or religious hot issue, taking the opposite viewpoint from your own.
Week Three: Walking in Literary Integrity
Writing, in and of itself, requires that we tell the truth. But if you’re just getting started writing or have been away from it for a while, it may be difficult to write into the truth of your topic, simply because you don’t regularly require that of yourself. How can you require radical honesty of yourself as a writer?
Assignment: To write an essay about a topic that creates angst for you because you haven’t quite landed on your point of view.
Week Four: Honoring your Talent
Whether or not you believe you have talent can often determine how much effort you’ll put into writing, if you’ll challenge yourself, if you’ll quit too soon. Do you believe you have writing talent, and why does it matter?
Assignment: To write a mock review of your first major published work—either fiction or nonfiction.
Week Five: Accessing your Voice
You can use writing to discover parts of yourself you aren’t even aware of as you don’t give them the opportunity for expression. Have you heard of something called voice? What is it and how do you access yours?
Assignment: To write an anecdote about something that happened to you recently.
Week Six: Learning about Form and Structure
As a new or beginning writer, you can get hung up on something called form, especially if you’re not clear about the choices available to you. Which forms of fiction and nonfiction do you like to read; are these also the forms in which you like to write?
Assignment: To challenge yourself and write in a form that’s new to you.
Week Seven: Empowering your Writing with Archetypes
Certain archetypes can often drive you as a writer, and because they’re unconscious, you’re unaware of how it is you may feel so much passion around, say, a particular topic or type of fictional character. How can you become more aware of your personal archetypes so that you can use them to direct rather than drive your writing?
Assignment: To write a fictional or non-fictional scene from the viewpoint of an archetype you’d like to explore.
Week Eight: Going with the Flow
Time to catch up with yourself and do some self-inquiry. Where are you now that you weren’t seven weeks ago?
Assignment: To respond to certain questions, to evaluate where you are now as a writer and where you want to go, moving forward.