My writing program is simple and it works. The focus is thus: Writing is about the process not the product.
They have one assignment daily. Get the check mark. In order to get a check mark they have to have written, researched, plotted, revised, or otherwise advanced their project for at least 30 minutes. Then they check in, answer some questions about their writing day, encourage a few of the others, and get encouragement and support back. For that they get a green check mark and they “have written.”
They also receive daily coaching from me. Questions answered. Plot knots unraveled. Cheerleading, encouragement, and celebration.
Here’s a sample of a month of green check marks from one of my circles:
The weekly newsletter I send to my students tracks members across the circles. Forums and chats allow everyone to communicate. We have plot buster forums, a place where we dissect and discuss short stories. Flash Fiction Friday where writers can post their flash experiments. There are all sorts of forums and discussions that serve to energize and educate the writing muscle while each writer works on her own, together to get the check mark.
If you’ve ever done NaNoWriMo, you know the check marks work.
After about a month chasing the check mark, one client who’d been two-thirds committed to her book for about four years posted that since starting with the circle her book was at the forefront of her mind in a way it hadn’t been before. She was driving and had to pull over to take notes on the idea she just had for the next section of her book. That hadn’t been happening for her before.
Another client just finished a book she had been working on for a few years. She gave it up and put it away. A few years later she unearthed her writing and that project. She was a reluctant participant in the Spilling Ink! circles until she decided to stop fighting and give it a try. She’s finished with her novel and has posted, “This really works!”
In addition to the check marks, I offer classes in craft and production.
How they find their voice and train their ear – Spilling Ink! online class
Once a week students who elect to participate download a writing prompt that tackles a specific craft issue. Then we all meet online to read and reflect over the raw writing produced so they can find their voice and train their ear.
Hearing the potential in raw work is a necessary art writers have to master. If you can hear the potential in your raw work, you can develop the draft faster. In this class we use freewriting to get past the internal editor and expand creativity. We share raw work in a safe container and the writers who are listening are listening for specific elements in the readers work. Then they reflect back what they heard.
This training allows the listeners to hear those same elements when they are faced with raw work of their own. As they train their ear, they’re training their writing to strengthen around those same elements. And producing pages at the same time.
As the other writers in the group and the coach (me) reflect to them what is working, what themes are present, and how it might fit into the whole of their project, each writer is moving away from the internal editor or critic and into the open play field of creative experimentation. The secret to this group is the structure and the safety. Magic happens and writers find their voice when the layers of fear fall away.
Bones Draft Class
If my students are writing a first draft of their project, this self-paced class is designed to bring them through a process to get the first draft done as quickly as possible. Craft lessons and prompts get them writing about character, plot, playing what if, etc. And writing scenes that fit into the whole. They’re accumulating pages in a simple way designed to produce a bones draft of their project.
These students also attend the same Spilling Ink! circle as above. They read their raw scenes for feedback on what’s working, themes, plot possibilities, etc. They are training their ear for this project and finding their voice within the piece.
Revision Process Class
This class takes writers through my thorough revision process. We begin at the high level of structure, character arc, and theme and work our way down to the scene level. Videos, worksheets, and weekly coaching calls are the backbone of this class. During the calls you can claim the group’s time for individual questions, help, and coaching.
When the students have done the revision and rewriting work, they move into a page exchange, where we exchange 50 to 100 pages with a partner or with the group so the nitpicky editing can be done. This is like a critique group only we don’t talk plot here, only what might not be working with conflict, suspense, pacing, etc. And how to fix it. And we edit in larger chunks than most critique groups so it’s faster.
My program is all inclusive. Each writer tailors her own experience. And all center around that green check mark.
I offer three payment options:
Option 1 – Monthly
Option 3 – Save more than 25%!
That’s a savings of $100 a month
with one payment for a full year
of writing, coaching, support,
and results. That’s only $197/month!