The Modes of Writing:
an 8 week online course with Nick Jaina
June 4th to July 30th
Cost per student:
(payment plays possible if you write to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Register for this workshop here:
The most important facets of writing are often left undescribed. We talk of inspiration and then move right to plot and character development. But there is so much discovery, so much wilderness in those intermediary phases of writing. My hope is to be more intentional about what we are trying to achieve in each of these "modes." Because I am a musican and a studier of systems of knowledge like Tarot, I am intrigued by finding a cycle of different phases that we are working on. This cycle can repeat to help us move forward in our writing to higher and higher "octaves" of progress on our work.
Most people have some general idea of the type of book they would write if they ever had the time and figured it all out. Well, I am here to tell you that there is never going to magically be enough time to write a book, and the only way to actually figure it out is to do it.
This 8 week course is designed to take your nascent idea and bring it into physical form. I have found that most people have a comfort zone of writing: either they like describing a place but are afraid of characters, or they like writing dreaming stuff but it's never funny, or they can write technical pieces but don't know how to animate a story. I think it's worth spending a week each on different phases of writing and see how they all can add up to a more complete piece for us.
This Course Includes:
• An email every Monday morning explaining the mode for the week with personal experiences.
• A recommended reading/ viewing list of examples that illustrate the theme.
• A live one-hour video conference Monday evening at 6pm PST where Nick discusses the theme and takes questions or comments. This video will be recorded and posted for everyone to watch the same night. If you are shy or retiring, you are welcome to watch it with your camera off or just watch the recorded version.
• A chart showing the key words and images to help us recall our intentions for the week's mode.
• Basic correspondence via email with Nick on questions about the subject matter throughout the course. These can be questions, clarifications, excuses, whatnot.
A Breakdown of the Themes Covered Each Week:
Let us figure out how to connect our joy to something substantial we can hang our hat on. What are the entry points to such joy? How do we capture smoke in our hands?
Here we start ringing ideas into form, which can be fraught with imperfection, so let's be kind to ourselves.
Now we can admit to ourselves that a significant aspect of writing involves learning to listen, being patient, cultivating intuition, which are all aspects that the world is in great need of anyway.
It is important to observe the world around us, appreciating the abundance of fertility and loving all of it.
It's time we talk about tension. Are you nervous? Well, that is what tension is all about. The good news is that we can start to be aware of what tension is, and then harness it on the page to create more compelling writing.
There is a time when we can benefit from reaching for outside help. This is a way we can find deeper resonances to our work, bigger arcs that connect to universal experience.
Editing is a process that happens concurrently with writing. It is a constant action of folding in new pieces, paring them down, understanding the essence of what is really important in our work.
We want our piece of writing to have a forward momentum so that we wake up tomorrow wanting to work on it again. This requires some accessing some agitation, laying out an unresolved equation.
Some Questions You Might Have:
Q. I don't really write, but I want to. Is this class for me?
A. It most definitely is. This is a class about figuring out how to build a concerted writing process and move forward with a project that you are in love with.
Q. I've already written a book. Is this class for me?
A. Yes. I wrote one book and on my next one I realized I didn't know what I was doing and had to backtrack and figure out certain mechanics of writing. I love talking about these things in a language that makes sense to me, and I hope it can make more sense to you.
Q. Why online?
A. I teach a lot of classes in person around the country, but I can't get everywhere. I've had many people ask if I'm going to teach an online version, and well, here it is! Let's do this. I am here at your service.