A Writing Workshop at Kerouac House

It’s a new year and there’s no better time to keep that resolution—write!

But what if you don’t know how to start? Or you’re an experienced writer who feels stuck? Fear of the blank page is normal, but there are ways to overcome it. This workshop will explore tips and techniques to get your pen flowing. Emphasis will be on generating new material and experimenting with different approaches. You will walk away with new avenues to pursue and strategies to continue writing long after the class is over. Appropriate for all levels and genres as we’ll be using a variety of prompts and exercises.

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#3 copyClose the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. —Barbara Kingsolver

Writers have many ways of sabotaging themselves. One of the most insidious ones, in my opinion, is showing their work too early.

I advise writers not to seek feedback from a writers group, or even a professional editor, when they’re in the process of generating a first draft.  I lose a lot of potential business this way, but here’s why I believe this so strongly.

When you’re generating new work, ideas are trying to happen and you’re discovering what your book is about.

Stephen King uses the metaphor of the “boys in the basement” to explain how a writer’s subconscious mind works. The “boys” are at work creating characters, conflicts, and scenes, when you’re out and about running errands, when you’re fixing a sandwich, when you’re working your day job, when you’re washing the dishes, and even when you’re asleep. When you sit down to write in an attentive manner, King says, the boys will send their messages up to you. The act of writing opens you up to receive the messages. Be patient. Listen. You’ll hear them.  And when you hear them, you are hearing your own creative voice.

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