You don’t have to know how it ends. You only need to begin.
This class is not about answers.
It’s about big, beautiful questions.
Registration for DTB will open in late February 2019! If you want the scoop as soon as it’s scoopable, please enter your name and email.
So let’s get past the part about whether or not you want to write a book, whether or not you have a book in you.
You do, and you do. That’s why you’re here. Known quantities.
What you don’t know—that’s what will propel you forward in this class. For instance:
- How can you focus your incredible ideas, wildest passions, and transformational experiences into a page-turning book?
- What if you don’t have to prove anything to get started? What if your worth and value and genius are where you begin to write a book, instead of something you’ll acquire once you do?
- In what ways has your whole life led to this moment and the exact story you need to tell?
- What if there are ways to learn and create that aren’t shrouded in criticism, in which you don’t have to be bullied or bossed or cut down to size? Ways to learn and create that welcome the beautiful whole of you, the actual size and shape you fill?
- How would it feel to let yourself and your story grow as wild and true as possible and have someone else say “Holy shit, that’s beautiful!”?
- What if writing was bigger than the binary of good or bad? What would it do for your lungs if you devoted yourself not to writing a good book, but rather a book that sings? One with a beating heart and flushed cheeks?
- What are the most effective ways to use the best of you to tell a story that sings, pulses, soars?
- As writer, who are you here for, and who and what is here to shower you with support and connection?
- What if your writing experience can shift from “If or when I write this book, I’ll be loved,” to “I am loved as I do this?”
- How might this process alone transform your life and the lives of people you haven’t even met yet?
If those questions light your fire, water your roses, fill your lungs, or flutter your heart, read on.
“Doesn’t this office feel small to you?”
Sixteen years ago, just two years before I went full throttle after my own writing dream, one of my students in Ohio asked me this question. It blew open the doors of my heart and what I considered possible for my life. All that happened after that is a different story.
Almost ten years ago, I sat in a moving truck at a rest stop in Idaho and asked my then-husband, “Are you saying you don’t want to be married anymore?”
As you might imagine, another heart and mind-blowing experience. Not an easy question, and it didn’t produce an easy answer. But it ripped the wrapping paper off of my life and revealed some incredible unexpected gifts, like starting my own business and stepping into a truer, stronger, and brighter version of myself.
The point: good questions are catalysts. Which is why I love them. They create movement and action. They make way. Good answers satisfy, but then you lower your hand, sit down, and close the book.
I want you to open one. And I bet you do, too. I bet you’d love to inhale, drop those shoulders (stories often get stuck in there, or in creaky necks, or tight hips, or disgruntled guts), say a prayer or make a wish, and take that first step, which is often the hardest one.
This class will help you to cross that threshold and give you the tools to keep going.
By the end of the three months of DTB, you’ll have:
- taken time to write, weekly, for three whole months!
- received generative editorial feedback weekly (for three whole months!)
- learned enduring practices including turning the inner critic from rabid tiger to napping kitten, tapping into your colossal creative capacity, and writing as a sacred act
- the camaraderie and companionship of a nurturing creative community, a small group of dedicated writers working with you in solidarity
- ideas, scenes, dreams, and plenty of pages written
- deepened your skill as a writer and sharpened the tools of your craft (scene, character, narrative arc, dialogue and more)
- the profound support of your unexpected biggest fan and the simplest relationship that can blow the roof off of your writing
- a completed draft of a chapter of your choice, with professional editorial feedback
- a solid foundation and an abundance of resources for going forth to finish a draft of your book
What else you’ll get:
TIME—to write, to brainstorm, to learn, play, explore, and to let you and your story grow wild and true. Okay, I can’t give you time, but it is something you can give to yourself through a commitment to this process. No, you’re not going to write a book in a week. But you probably can block out the five hours a week you’ll need to take this course.
ACCOUNTABILITY + MENTORING—When you sign up for DTB, you’re saying yes to three two-hour classes (via Zoom) with a small, dedicated group of writers; three private mentoring sessions to address your unique questions, concerns, strengths and challenges; twelve weeks of generative editorial feedback on your writing, including one full chapter-length piece; and an optional online community for additional camaraderie, inspiration, and support. You’re saying yes to showing up, making your writing a priority, and completing weekly assignments in service to the tangible creative fulfillment of the book that’s asked you to write it. You’re saying yes to being met with love and respect, generously supported in your process, and witnessed and encouraged in all of your genius through the power of the Gateless method.
STRUCTURE—The idea of Writing A Book is so big that it can freeze us in time and space. How on earth will I be able to do this? Where to start? What to do next? In DTB, you’ll be given classes and mentorship meetings to show up for, a clear monthly goal to center your work, and simple, achievable weekly assignments to keep you moving. This may not be the structure you already learned in school. It won’t be the structure of follow Point A to Point Z, or Finalize Your Outline, or If You Do It Like this, It’s Right. It WILL be the structure of the cycle of seasons within and around you, of enough room to make up your own alphabet, and of let your story grow wild and true before you even think about pruning it. In this structure, you’ll be given tools, practices, and prompts to create a safe and sacred creative container, one in which blocks are doorways, your “liabilities” are gifts, and you get to show up in your full radiance.
LIBERATION—What a relief to finally work towards something that’s been idling on your to-do list and to get those words out of you and onto the page. What a relief to put your time, attention, and effort where your heart is. After this course, you’ll be one step closer to sharing your story with clients, friends, family, or a global audience.
SOULFULNESS—What is soulfulness? Another good question. In this case, it’s about honoring the process and the timing of the heart–sometimes the heart works in energetic bursts and sometimes in long slow walks. It’s about staying present. This course is designed to honor the depth of your life and your story, to give you room to explore it, to offer sanctuary.
As much as savoring gorgeous questions, I love helping people wake up to the power of their own stories and the enormity of their own genius. I’d be thrilled to share this experience with you to help you give birth to your very own bundle of book.
Five spots are available for writers who are ready to bare their words and own the inherent wild beauty of the story they need to tell and the self who is writing it.
Five spots are available for writers who are ready to shed supposed to’s and slip into something infinitely more comfortable: authority.
Five spots are available for already worthy writers to say yes to being exquisitely loved through the process of beginning a book.
What’s the Investment? Before March 4, 2019, as one full payment: $2,510 USD or three monthly payments of $887 USD
After March 4, 2019, either one full payment of $3,500 USD or three monthly payments of $1,216 USD.
REGISTRATION OPENING IN LATE FEBRUARY 2019!
You don’t have to know how it ends. You only need to begin.
Other courses promise you can complete a whole book in three months. Why doesn’t this one?
This course is designed to support seasoned human beings in honoring the urge to write, giving voice to the story that’s aching for release, and making sacred space for the whole shebang. When you’re ready to do this kind of work, you don’t want to complete your book according to some standard formula or force it into a rushed timeline—that won’t serve you, your book, or the people who will eventually read it. You want to do the foundational work necessary to create something of quality, something beautiful and true, and to feel good about and capable of finishing it. Books and people aren’t one-size-fits-all. We need a process that gives us room to play, experiment, and grow, not one that overwhelms, intimidates, or kills the creative spirit. And that takes time.
Can the foundational work fly and lead into a first draft that spills out quickly?
Of course. Then you’ll likely want to revise it and enlist editorial services (developmental or copyediting or both), one way or another.
Fast food books are not the books this course will serve. Quickly crafted books can be lovely and useful, and I don’t knock the value of experimenting and sharing a piece of creative work without lots of deliberation. I do that all of the time on Facebook, and enjoy myself immensely. But this is not Discover the Facebook You’re Meant to Write.
If you want to make a nourishing, surprising, delectable meal of a book, you’re in the right place.
Do I need to be a seasoned writer to take this course?
No, you sure don’t. You do need to love and value words and stories and be willing to write them. Most of all, to take this course, you need to be a seasoned human with a story you’re ready to tell.
What about critique? Don’t I need someone to point out the flaws in my writing and show me the error of my ways?
As to the second question, no, you sure don’t. As to the first, what stops so many writers in their tracks is harsh critique and editorial nitpicking at a vulnerable and inappropriate moment in the process. I can’t count the number of writers I’ve worked with who have a story about some person in “authority” pointing out all of the glaring errors and awfulness in their writing, painting, singing, or crafting. Usually, those stories are followed by, “And then I didn’t write/paint/sing/make anything for twenty-five years.”
The point of DTB is for you to be writing, exploring, and expanding, and so one of the guiding forces of this course is the Gateless method. “Gateless Writing is a method of teaching the art and craft of writing using creative brain science, ancient non-dual teachings and highly effective craft tools,” and you can read more about it right here.
The beauty of this method is that you’ll still be sharpening your craft as a writer, just in ways that build, cultivate, and generate. And throughout DTB, you’ll be regularly learning about character, setting, dialogue, narrative arc, and more. And how to tend to all of these things in your own writing.
Also, yes, of course, detailed line editing, trimming, outlining, and thoughtfully considered revision and rewriting all have their places in the process of birthing a book. Just not in this part of the process. Bringing in those tools and practices too early would be like pruning a sapling.
What if I get stuck?
Okay, here’s the truth: You’re probably going to get stuck. If you get stuck, hurray! You’re a real live writer! Getting stuck is normal–it happens to all of us. And here’s another, lesser-known truth: getting stuck can be a cause for celebration. The things that block our process are often gifts in disguise, golden tickets to step into bigger, brighter and more delicious possibilities for writing and for being human. During the course, you’ll learn how to find the beauty and power in what blocks you.
DTB sounds like it might be focused on creative non-fiction or memoir. What if the book I’m meant to write is fiction? Or what if I’m meant to write something that doesn’t fit into any category?
Brilliant. I happen to love novels. Writing my novel, Putting Makeup on Dead People, was one the most profoundly healing and delightful experiences of my life. If the book you’re meant to write turns out to be a novel, follow that book!
And if it turns out to be something else entirely, follow that book! Your epic poem creation myth memoir told in reverse rhyme is welcome here. You don’t have to know where your book “fits” to participate in this course. If identifying a form feels exciting and energizing to you, go for it. And, in this course, most of all, you’ll be encouraged to listen to what your story wants to be and to let it evolve as such.
Is editorial feedback included?
How does this work, week to week?
Once you register, you’ll get a message welcoming you to the course and giving you an assignment to whet your book whistle. The course itself begins on March 18, 2019. On that Monday, you’ll receive your first week of course material in your inbox, including course basics and homework, all of which we’ll go over in our group Zoom meeting that day, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. PST.
Every week for three months, on Mondays, you’ll get course material, including homework, encouragement, and guidance in your inbox. At the beginnings of the following two months, we’ll meet again via Zoom for our group session (April 15 & May 13, both from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. PST). Also at the start of each month you’ll schedule your private consult with me, and every Friday during the course, you’ll send writing to me for editorial feedback.
Bonus: through the entirety of the course, you’ll have the option to be part of a private Facebook group where you can connect online with your classmates and where I’ll occasionally share other resources. Don’t worry if you don’t do Facebook – if it’s something essential, I’ll make sure that anything I share in that group comes to you, too.
Do I need to be somewhere in particular to take this course?
As long as you can send and receive emails and documents via Word or Google and have an internet connection, you can take this course from anywhere. For the group sessions, you’ll need to have Zoom downloaded onto your computer or phone (a simple process). For your private consults, we’ll meet via phone.
Can you guarantee results, or refunds?
I can promise you that you will be given an abundance of foundational tools and practices that have helped and inspired other writers to turn their dreams into drafts of books. I can’t guarantee that you will sit at your desk and write or complete assignments. Sometimes I wish that someone else would guarantee that for me, but I know I’m the only one who can.
What I also know is that if you never take action—if you don’t begin—you won’t ever finish a book, or anything else you want to do.
I can assure you that I believe in the healing power of stories, that I believe in and applaud your bravery in stepping forward to tell one, and that the path to writing a book is full of surprises, adventure, and life-changing self-discovery.
Also, upon completion of the course, you will receive other resources and options as you continue to work on your book.
Refunds are not available for this course, as a way to honor the learning commitment we are both making, and as a way to ensure you’re ready to take this step. Before registering, I encourage you to deeply consider if this course is for you. One way to do that is to fill out this form. I’ll review your answers, and if it feels like a good fit, I’ll reach out to you to schedule a call so we can have a conversation to address any questions you have.
What if life happens & I get behind, or what if I can’t finish the course once I started it?
Don’t worry. In cases of emergency or upheaval, you’ll be able to apply your registration fee to a future course, ideally within a year of the course you originally signed up for.
I took an earlier version of DTB. How can I get in on this new magic?
Oh joy! You are most welcome to jump on in, and as a way to say welcome back, I will be glad to offer you a $500 USD coupon to apply to the cost of registration. Just drop me a line, and we’ll get the ball rolling.
REGISTRATION OPENS IN LATE FEBRUARY 2019
Want to know as soon as the classroom doors are open?
Enter your name & email HERE.