Posts Tagged ‘ workshops ’

In & Out: Full Penetration For Your Writing Pleasure

Let’s talk about penetration in sex for just a minute. Stick it–a finger, a dildo, or a penis–into a mouth, a vagina, or an anus. Move it all around. Squeeze. Pump. Find special spots. Push in deeper, harder, faster. Take it out. Put it in again. Take it out. It creates intimacy, joy, sometimes even babies. It feels so good.

The same goes for writing. Except we tend to focus on the output. Get it written. Post it. Publish it. Output. Put out. Put out again. Put out more.

For some reason, writers expect ourselves to perform a kind of sorcery we’d never expect from even the hottest, most magical sex. We expect ourselves to put out without any delicious, creative input.

So, how about some input to liven up your output? Your writing needs inspiration, information, and interaction if you really want to put out. Here are a few ideas:

Inspiration:

Information:

    • To continue writing (output), what additional information do you need?
    • Research: Where are you going to find this information?
    • Who can answer questions for you?
    • Where can you go to inform the process?
    • When will you do the research?
    • How much information do you really need to keep writing?

Interaction

    • Do you have a feedback partner?
    • Have you considered a workshop or writing group for feedback?
    • With whom do you collaborate?
    • Many writers benefit from writer’s coaching with me!
    • It’s Pride month! Come out as a writer to your friends and family this month, and watch the peer pressure push your project forward!

Mornings at the office of the Sexy Grammarian

The southeastern sky shines bright in the mornings in the SOMA district of San Francisco, so bright that I wear a sun hat to work at my desk and meet any morning clients out in a cafe.

I’m busy with new coaching clients and a new workshop series. I’m writing a lot, focused on completing the third draft of novel #1. A lesson I’ve learned before about being busy and letting creativity flow: take good care of my body. See the healthy breakfast?

About Writing

A uniquely human behavior, writing may qualify as a human right or a responsibility to some of us. We feel compelled to write and feel challenged by it at once. Most writers who come to me learned to write around age five or six. They’ve already learned to write. If I’m not teaching my writing clients how to write, what am I doing when I coach and lead workshops?

I address obstacles—what gets in the way of your writing. In my writing sessions, I tackle stuff like:

  • Isolation
  • Fear
  • Mechanics of writing
  • Self criticism
  • Time management
  • Accountability

In my writing coaching and workshop sessions we overcome these obstacles by cultivating:

  • Community
  • Time saving techniques
  • Support
  • Flow
  • Self confidence
  • Engagement
  • Inspiration

Tools I use with my writing clients include:

  • Tips and lessons
  • Sexy Grammar
  • Community support
  • Collaborative homework
  • Peer pressure
  • Time to write
  • Space to write and discuss writing process
  • Nurturing of the whole writer
  • Setting goals

Some of the writing lessons I offer might be:

  • Writing technique
  • Grammar
  • Giving feedback
  • Getting feedback
  • Harnessing inspiration
  • Story structure and theme

Day 4: Tomorrow Is The First Tweet Me/ Meet Me Open Loft

Today’s Word Count Goal: 11800

Today’s Word Count So-Far: 5598

Total Word Count Goal: 50,000

 

Tomorrow, Friday 11/5, from 10am to 1pm, I will open my home and my process to other writers, both locally and across the Internet. Won’t you join me? Whatever you’re writing, you’ll move forward on it. You will because I have to, and when determined writers get together to write, they write.

If you come to write with me in the loft, you’ll enjoy some light refreshments and a seat at my writing table. I’ll offer a loose structure along these lines:

  • brief introductions to both writers and projects
  • 10-minute writing warm-up
  • check ins
  • 30 minute writing session
  • check ins
  • 45 minute writing session
  • check ins
  • 30 minute writing session
  • debrief

If you follow my Twitter feed during the session instead, you’ll read Tweets designed to inspire you and timed to keep you writing.

Get your Tweet Me/ Meet Me info here. Join me. It’ll be fun. And we’ve all got a lot of writing to do!

 

Watch the Sexy Grammarian participate in National Novel Writing Month for the third year in a row. I’ll post word counts and worries here daily, Tweet about it, raise funds for the Office of Letters And Light, and host Meet Me/Tweet Me open loft writing sessions all month long.

What You Can Learn at a Writers Conference

Summer and fall are great seasons for writers conferences. If you’re a writer who’s never been to one, treat yourself to whatever’s coming up near you. Here’s a great place to start searching for writers conferences, but you can also Google your town name and “writers conference” and find out what your community has to offer.

Last fall, I attended the La Jolla Writers Conference, where I gathered a wealth of information for myself and my clients. Just to offer you a taste of what you can learn, I will post my notes from the nine informative and inspiring workshops and lectures I attended last fall over the next nine days. I’ll be sharing the heart’s desires of a literary agent, the inspirations of a chick lit giant, and the pet peeves of a nonfiction editor, along with a lot of other useful information for writers in all genres.

Straddling Creative Forces

While I’ve been busy plotting new and exciting opportunities for writers in my community, I’ve been wrestling with a few plots of my own, and they’ve got me straddling projects, concepts, strategies, and continents.

In the new year, I tackled the daunting-yet-flattering task of sitting down with the 18 wonderful readers who agreed to read my first novel while I started working on a second one. These 18 readers furnished my writing project and me with all the love, criticism, support, and cheer leading that I aspire to offer my own clients. So there I was, with one foot in my editor’s pants and the other in my writing pants, learning a whole lot about what it’s like to receive feedback on a project that’s got your heart and soul inside it. These feedback conversations inspired a whole new level of work on novel #1, and I’m up to my ears in it at the moment.

And I’m about to jump on an airplane and whisk myself off to Spain. While I’m away, my business will attempt to run in an automated fashion, signing you up for the workshops that happen just as soon as I return. So I’ve got one foot in my business shoes and the other in my tourist clogs. I’m hoping to find inspiration for a new writing project–perhaps something that will force me to travel more. In fact, although I travel to feed my inner demons who demand inspiration, I expect to put out a good bit of writing while I’m away. That’s half a brain handling input and half a brain handling output.

And in the meantime, novel #2 awaits my attention. I have not read a word of it since completing the first draft last November, yet it haunts my dreams. I’ve planned a late summer writing retreat to wrestle with those artistic angels at Sea Ranch. Even my projects seem to be straddling some invisible line between complete and first-draft-land.

Two novels, two continents, two workshops, two writing phases, two artistic directions. That’s a lot of creativity between my legs. Feels sexy. I guess that means I should go with it.

Hot Blog

My business has been knocking me around a little lately.

A new potential client referrer deemed my blog NSFW and disappeared.

A corporate client took 18 months to pay me for an extensive job I finished overnight.

I announced my Get Fresh! content lab for bloggers and entrepreneurs and then fell behind on posting to my own blog.

I think a bruised ego and sense of professional crumbling is common in the midst of creative expansion. I know one writer who was literally stricken temporarily blind just days after committing to finally writing her book. I know another writer who received the most mean-spirited comments I’ve ever seen in an online forum the same day he braved coming out as a writer to an old friend.

I don’t think these stumbling blocks fall magically from a great, karmic sky. Rather, I think creative expansion is risky. Finding your voice, figuring out the gesture of your art, these activities are all-consuming. It’s easy to forget to eat, to bill your biggest client, or even to put your reading glasses on when you’re standing in the middle of a personal creative downpour, getting drenched.

And that’s where I’ve been with my business lately, standing in the rain. It’s a warm rain, nurturing and hydrating. It’s providing what I’ve needed to understand the connection between the sex educator and the writer. In it I have uncovered a new business identity, The Sexy Grammarian, launched a successful Writer’s Workshop, and written two novels.

So where does a soggy entrepreneur with a sometimes-dry blog get off facilitating a writer’s lab for entrepreneurs? I get off right here, thank you very much. Right here in my blog, I intend to wrestle with the issues that I believe plague most blogging entrepreneurs: how to keep the fresh content flowing, how to balance my blog’s offerings of  useful information and self-promotion, and how to participate in the online social media discourse in a way that serves both business owner and writer.

I’m not an expert at these things, but I am an expert at helping people to write. And I am an expert community builder. If you don’t believe me, just ask the participants in my last Writer’s Workshop. Here are a few quotes:

My favorite things about the Sexy Grammar Workshop are the community feel, the support, and Kristy!

After last night’s session, I feel ready to write and happy! Really happy and alive!

My favorite thing about the Sexy Grammar Workshop is community—sharing and learning from others.

And what they love in my first workshop will fuel this second writer’s community endeavor of mine. Come to it if you want to expand your blogging experience and find the ease and joy in it. It’s “priced to sell,” as one participant puts it, at $20 for a three-hour lab and $50 for a series of three labs. Get Fresh! content labs happen every third Friday 11am to 2pm. Bring your lunch and your laptop!