By Tamara via Bean Up the Nose Art
1. This is a sample of what you might see outside your classroom window at one of Eric Maisel’s Deep Writing Workshops. Because he teaches them all over the place, in amazing venues. This is Rome, in April.
2. Eric Maisel is a psychologist and awesome freakin’ creativity coach who walks his talk. He’s written over 40 books. Some are fiction, and a slew are about creativity, fear, productivity — everything you wrestle with as a writer. In the Deep Writing workshops, you get the benefit of all he’s learned about writers, writing, and how to make ourselves write. And finish projects. And sell them.
3. The workshops are five-days long, with classes running four hours a day. The rest of the time, you’re on your own to do whatever you want in whatever cool place you’ve landed. I’d never been to Rome in my life. I was blown away walking the streets, eating gelato at least three times a day, visiting — for example — the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Forum, the Vatican Museums (which includes the Sistine Chapel), and St. Peter’s Basilica. I walked to every single one of these places from my room.
4. You work on whatever writing project you want, in whatever state it and you are in. Some people are mid-way through big projects. Some are finishing and editing. Some, like me, are just starting. I’ve had a mystery set in ancient Rome rambling in my brain for three years. I made notes and did research. I never started writing it. The first session of the first morning of the first day of the Deep Writing workshop, I started at Page 1. And kept on going. It was a miracle.
5. There are no miracles. There are no magic bullets. You don’t wait for “The Muse” or “Inspiration” to hit you on the head and write your book for you. Instead, you sit your ass down on your chair on a regular, committed basis the first thing in the morning, and you write. You “commit 100%, provisionally,” to the piece that you’re working on, and see where it goes that day. You do the process. This is the nuts-and-bolts of writing life that Eric teaches you — in the five days you sit in the class, doing this over and over.
6. You don’t have to — and don’t ever, in the workshop — show your writing to anyone. This is not a sharing process, a reviewing process, a writers-exchanging-writing-for-feedback process. No. This is a sit-your-ass-in-the-chair-and-keep-writing process.
7. Each day’s class has four writing sessions of various lengths, which are interspersed with brief, pithy, awesome talks by Eric about the creative process, why writing is hard and we resist it, and how we can commit to it and make it “easier” to do. And also about nuts and bolts of things like writing a book proposal. And then, there are quick breaks to run out and have an espresso. And maybe some cannoli. Or gelato. Or all three.
8. Your classmates are excellent, kind, smart, committed folks in all stages of the writing and publishing process. Many have published very cool fiction through major publishing houses. They come from all over the world. Many have come to the workshops before. Because the workshops work.
9. The workshops work. Writing four times a day on your piece . . . beginning each with Eric saying, “Okay, let’s write for ___ minutes” . . . ingrains the habit of just starting and keeping going. And doing that five days in a row makes that habit stronger. And at the end of the week, you’ve also got a big enough part of your work done that you’ve fallen in love with it and are committed to continue. And with the habit pattern already starting, you do it. I have written 90 minutes every Monday through Thursday morning since the class ended. This means I wake up and start at 5:30 every morning. And I hate waking up early. But I LOVE how it feels every day at 7:00 a.m., when I have 500 more words done on the novel, and I have just spent that time in my characters’ worlds.
10. Eric teaches the Deep Writing workshops all over the place . . . and just announced that he’ll be doing his first in San Francisco at the end of October. So, especially if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and therefore aren’t paying for travel and lodging, you can get an ass-kicking workshop led by a great coach that will jumpstart your writing for a very reasonable price. Click here for more details.
(Okay, here’s an 11. Because if you really are a writer, you’re going to feel way, way, way, way, way worse about yourself NOT WRITING THAT BOOK than you will ever feel having to wake up early over and over again to do it. You need to do it. And you need to give yourself the habits and tools that will get you doing it. DO. IT.)
Clearly, I think Eric rocks. I’ve probably posted more often on Beans’ blog in the past three years about him than any other non-family member. I’ve worked with him in individual coaching sessions, taken his on-line classes through DailyOM.com, read many of his books, and now have taken this in-person workshop with him. I’ve never been disappointed, in any venue. Exactly the opposite. I always find exactly what I need — and very quickly and efficiently — working with Eric. I’m hoping you’ll give yourself the same opportunity.
See for yourself August 9-14 at Deep Writing with Eric Maisel on Cortes Island.