These Fragments: From Journal Pages to Personal Essays

with Rudri Patel

these fragments from journal to personal essay writing course

June 26, 2024
6 weeks

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.

Zoom sessions Tuesdays from 7-8 PM Eastern

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.Enroll Now

Your journal is a private space to write anything. You can open up and write with abandon—and, if you know how to harvest this raw creativity, your journal can be one of your best sources of material to develop into writing you share with others.

Whether you journal daily and would like to write personal essays, or wish to complement your writing practice with journaling, this course is for you! You’ll learn to use your journaling practice as a way to harness creativity, generate ideas, and find threads of inspiration for personal essays. You’ll also learn several different journaling styles, to find the right fit for both privately recording your life experiences and generating personal essay material. 

We will use journaling as a method to develop personal essays, by understanding the fundamentals of conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and endings. I will guide you through understanding the importance of a narrative arc in essay writing as a way to transform what you’ve written in your journal.

We’ll meet on Zoom every week for sharing and workshopping in a supportive environment. The workshop format will focus on being accessible, warm and friendly, with permission to work through journaling as a way to find your next essay idea or longer project.

This course will be generative. You will share essay assignments weekly for constructive feedback from the instructor and fellow students.

Who This Course is For:

Writers interested in learning how to develop a daily journaling practice or who already have one, and would like to transition the raw material and seeds of ideas from their journal pages and develop them into personal essays. Writers of all skill levels are welcome.

Learning and Writing Goals

Learning Goals

In this course, you will: 

  • Learn different methods of journaling to channel ideas for essays.
  • Dedicate specific time every day to journal writing without expectation of a particular goal.
  • Actively using the senses in journaling to create scenes in essays.
  • Learn how to take an existing journaling practice and transition those words into personal essays.
  • Create a more purposeful journaling practice that awakens creativity in drafting personal essays.

Writing Goals

In this course, you will:

  • Generate 5-15 pages each week through your daily journaling practice. These pages will serve as raw material and threads of new ideas to inspire a personal essay.
  • Develop and draft sections of your essays in 500-1000 word chunks each week.  
  • Write two personal essays, or
  • Write one personal essay and revise based on instructor and peer feedback.

Zoom Schedule

We will meet as a group via Zoom on Tuesdays at 7 PM Eastern. Class will be approximately one hour.

Weekly Syllabus

Week 1: Overview and Learning Various Journaling Methods

We will learn about various types of journaling and how it can fuel your creative practice. We will explore different journaling techniques (i.e. list making, prompts, mind mapping, meditation and then journaling, etc.) as a way to dive into generating material. The goal is to use these journaling techniques to open doors for creativity.

Assignment: Of the five journaling techniques, pick one to three techniques to practice over the course of the week. Decide which technique works for generating creative ideas for a personal essay. Draft 500 words in an essay based on the technique that works best for you.

Week 2: Using a Gratitude Journaling Practice to Guide Your Personal Essays

Gratitude journaling can often pave the way to come up with different themes that guide your writing. You will learn the practice of gratitude journaling and how to use patterns and themes to create personal essays.

Assignment: 1) Keep a gratitude journal for a minimum of three days. 2) Notice patterns or themes that you observe based on your entries. 3) Write a quick draft of an essay (at least 750 words) that focuses on how you would feel if one of the things you were grateful for was missing.

Week 3: Learning to Use Emotions: Using Emotional Journaling to Your Advantage

We often confront emotions based on various events in our lives. Sometimes these emotions can spiral out of control, but with emotional journaling we can use those raw feelings to our advantage. We will use the emotions of what we journal into creating concrete narratives around what we are feeling. You will learn a key technique in personal essay writing: creating a narrative arc in a piece.

Assignment: 1) Focus on a source of conflict. 2) List the top three emotions that come up. 3) Use the technique of emotional journaling to channel texture around emotions. 4) Review journal entry to draft a foundational element to your personal essay

Week 4: Capturing What You See: A Lesson in Observational Journaling

Sometimes we are too close to our emotions and experiences. Observational journaling will allow us to focus on the external and help us create scenes in our personal essays. Focus will be placed on using the external and capturing the senses and then using this technique to create scenes in our personal essays.

Assignment: 1) Take a walk outside or in a different place that will give you a new perspective of your surroundings. 2) Make notes along the way to see what you’re observing. 3) Use the process of looking at the external to connect with the internal. 4) Draft a 1,000-word essay based on this connection.

Week 5: Transforming Your Words Into a Personal Essay

This week will be dedicated to generating a full-length personal essay based on the active journaling and essay drafting you have completed over the prior four weeks. We will review standard personal essay structures. 

Assignment: Write a personal essay. 

Week 6: Personal Essay and Helpful Revision Techniques

For our last week, you can choose to either write a second personal essay or revise your draft from last week. We will discuss revision techniques that can be applied to your current and future essay projects. 

Assignment: Draft a new personal essay or revise your essay from last week.

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.Enroll Now

Course type:

Student Feedback for Rudri Patel:

I cannot recommend working with Rudri enough, she is one of the best writing teachers that I have ever had. Leena Trivedi-Grenier

Rudri is genuine and compassionate, sharing her stories and helping students find a way to hold their grief, and release some of its anchors. I highly suggest Writing Our Grief, so much so, I’m gifting it to a friend. Don’t hesitate. Take this class! Linda Ragsdale

One word – Exceptional! I learned a tremendous amount of content in 8 short weeks. I loved Rudri Patel. She helped me take my writing to another level. She was full of knowledge, encouragement, constructive criticism and quickly identified my strengths. I highly recommend her. Nancy Wynn

Rudri is kind and clearly dedicated to her students and to helping people have the confidence that there is a place for their voice in the world. Keri Off

Rudri is an experienced writer and caring educator. I appreciate how she took time to listen to my writing ambitions and offer concrete direction. If writing is your calling, Rudri can guide you. Ike Onyema

Write Your World with Rudri Bhatt Patel was just what I needed to jump start a writing practice. Rudri offered pragmatic approaches to getting started — from writing a snippet on an index card every day to setting a timer for writing — which made the task seem less formidable to me. She also provided the class with lots of interesting and inspiring resources on technique, such as the narrative arc and the different types of structuring essays that I will continue to use. Her critique of the writing I submitted was insightful and very helpful. I always felt respected and encouraged by her comments. I recommend her class to anyone who has thought about writing essays or articles and isn’t sure where to start. Tracy McFerrin

I have participated in several other paid courses over many years and found Rudri’s to be the best value—she is candid and caring, an expert facilitator and exacting editor. I enjoyed and highly recommend her classes. Barbara Chen

It was a joy to be able to work with Rudri and I learned so many valuable skills that have shaped my writing for the better. Not only did I learn about the art of writing articles, but Rudri taught many practical skills about how to get your work out in the world. Her class was well designed and she packed every minute with useful, helpful readings, assignments, and teachings. Finally, Rudri is kind and clearly dedicated to her students and to helping people have the confidence that there is a place for their voice in the world. Keri Brandt Off

The course exceeded my expectations. Rudri’s practical, supportive, and encouraging style is just what I needed to build confidence and practice in my writing. Rudri is exceptionally perceptive, warm, and generous as a teacher. Rudri helps you believe in yourself as a writer and to build long-term habits after the course. Tom O’Shea

Rudri’s workshop as well as her in-depth critiques are invaluable. Dianne Parker

Rudri’s teaching style is warm, personal, informed, generous, and comprehensive. She wants her students to have a safe place to dig into their grief and to give written voice to it, to learn the craft of writing about grief with an eye for publication. She challenged us to experiment with new forms, and set the tone for a supportive class partnership. I highly recommend this class. Dianne King

I recommend Rudri to any writer who is serious about stepping up their writing game. Her honest feedback and commitment to helping her students succeed make her an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their writing skills. Dean Bowman

Rudri created a wonderful workshop atmosphere. I received specific feedback on each of my writing assignments and felt supported and encouraged throughout the six-week course. I’m amazed at how much I learned in this short time period. Theresa Connors

Rudri is a real gem. Her management of the class given the difficulty of the material was exceptional. She was always encouraging to all the students. Larry Ricci

Rudri’s combination of compassion and solid tangible technique furthered my continuing development as a writer. If you want to take an MFA level class with an instructor who cares enough to guide you kindly but sure-footedly to the edges of your comfort zones—then this class is for you. You will come out on the other side a much improved writer. Christina Cavallaro

Rudri is kind so she reads with her heart as well as her head. As well as providing editorial expertise, she reads with empathy. I found this mattered more than I thought it would. I am so thankful for this course and everything I learned in class and from the community of other writers within the class. Sarah Harley

Rudri is intelligent and perceptive. Her lectures are well organized but not rigid. She is present to the individual students’ needs, and her offering of a one-on-one meeting is the cherry on the cake. She is a very generous teacher, and I would and will certainly recommend her courses and take them again myself. Barbara Moroncini

A must take course! Our instructor, Rudri Patel, led the course with such brilliance, commitment and sensitivity. Each lesson was well organized. Ms. Patel went above and beyond with weekly zoom classes, and she added her personal experiences as a writer so freely. Cynthia Slack

Rudri has a way of fostering discussion and motivating her students to produce more and better work. By the end of the first week alone, I’d completely revised my daily writing strategy, reduced procrastination, and felt better equipped to achieve some pretty ambitious writing goals. I’m confident that 2021 will be my best writing year to-date. Jessica Fiorillo

This workshop was everything I wanted and more!  Not only is Rudri an excellent instructor and writer, but she is a wonderful human being. Rudri provided a safe place for everyone to freely express themselves, giving 200% of herself and modeling for students her courage and vulnerability. Cynthia Bassett

Awesome! Rudri is a great teacher. Natalie Ellis

This class, and Rudri’s compassion and ability to create a safe space, helped me work through levels of grief that I didn’t realize I still had. I made connections between past and present losses that I hadn’t made before, which has helped me to grieve at a deeper level. My writing has benefited from the exercises and Rudri’s encouragement to write my truth. This was an excellent class, and I hope to work with Rudri again in the future. Andi Reed

I learned so much in Rudri’s class, not just about bullet journaling but about setting goals and establishing habits that nurture and sustain the writing life. Rudri created a welcoming space to discuss not just the ins and outs of bullet journaling, but also how to build habits that nurture creativity and self-care. I highly recommend it for writers and everyone! Daisy Florin

Rudri Bhatt Patel has been a mentor, coach, and editor for my writing projects for almost ten years. Under the skillful guidance of her expertise, candor, and gentle spirit, I have made great gains in refining and expanding my short stories to publication as well as completing a novel. In addition, as co-members of a critique group for several years, Rudri consistently offered in depth and valuable feedback to me and others on a biweekly basis. Her comprehensive written feedback was always delivered with a sensitivity and respect for each person’s creative expression, while authentically providing insight into strengths and areas that needed development. Trish Dolansinski

Rudri is the editor and teacher everyone wishes they would discover. Her warm engaging style meets spot-on feedback has done more for me in 6 weeks than I can begin to describe. Rudri’s approach to giving feedback is supportive in a way that both inspires and lifts while being grounded in solid practical suggestions to help elevate your work. Christina Cavallaro

I recommend Rudri Bhatt Patel without reservation. She is knowledgeable, articulate and experienced in all things writing and publishing. Her kindness as well as her professionalism and expertise make working with her a delight. Susan Pohlman

Rudri’s knowledge and skills related to professional writing have also helped me with my own writing career many times in the past. Julie Vick

Over the past ten years I have had numerous opportunities to interact with Rudri Batt Patel during writing classes, book critiques, and writer networking sessions. She has a profound ability to engage as a learner, presenter, and facilitator. Her own writing skills are exceptional and her variety of published works enable her to assist developing writers in multiple ways. Phyllis Schwartz

Rudri Patel is an organized and seasoned presenter with years of writing and publishing experience. I’ve been lucky enough to have Rudri in my critique circle for over a decade and I’m a stronger writer because of it. Windy Lynn Harris

Rudri has a wonderful way of bringing out the best in her colleagues without criticism – a skill I appreciate as a veteran of the classroom myself. Jenn Morson

June 26, 2024
6 weeks

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.

Zoom sessions Tuesdays from 7-8 PM Eastern

Original price was: $445.00.Current price is: $380.00.Enroll Now

Rudri Patel Instructor

About

Rudri Patel is a lawyer turned freelance writer, essayist, and editor. On staff at Literary Mama and the co-founder and co-editor of the literary journal, The Sunlight Press, her essays and reported work have appeared in The Washington Post, Business Insider, The Lily, Saveur, Civil Eats, ESPN, Parents and elsewhere. Rudri is currently at work on a memoir on grief and culture and how it provides perspective on life’s ordinary graces.