I’ve just finished writing the curriculum for my upcoming creative writing workshop and I’m so freakin’ excited. It will be each week for 10 weeks starting in October.  Our focus will be on short story, but first chapters of longer works will also be accepted.

In this in-depth 10-week course, you’ll…

– Become an expert at writing a compelling plot for your story
– Create rich, developed characters, backstory, and dialogue
– Master the art of description, details, and showing; not telling
– Learn to develop and trust your own writing style, voice, and narrator
– Write
– Write
– Workshop each other’s work
– Receive verbal and written feedback from myself and your classmates on your story
– End up with a polished and reviewed complete short story or first chapter of a longer work
– Receive resources and support on publication
– Read & learn from some of the best short stories from the past 100 years
– Get to spend 2.5 hours a week learning & writing in a cozy home downtown, sipping tea and eating chocolate, with badass people

 

If this sounds like something you’re interested in – please let me know! I’ll only be registering up to 8 people. 

🙂

I realize after typing the title of this post how that might sound. But I’m standing by it – not just because the middle schooler in me is going “heh. She said ‘doing it'”, but because I feel like several other writers, artists, or otherwise self-employed creatives out there will have a lot of resonance with this.

When do you know you’re “doing it”?

The “doing it” here can mean any number of things: Being a badass author, living out your dream of being an actor, making a name for yourself as an artist.

No matter your creative expression, I find that there is some imaginary line between “not doing it” and “doing it.” Between “still struggling,” and “made it.” And between “not good enough,” and “enough.”

What I’m asking, I suppose, is when do we know we’ve really done enough?

I’m putting this out there, not just because I see it in my own life over and over. But because I see it in so many artist’s lives over and over. I have a friend who is a visual artist, musician, and general Renaissance man. To those of us on the outside, it seems like he’s “doing it.” He’s booked at gigs all over the world; his art is visionary; he seems to live an exciting and creatively-fueled life.

But recently I learned that this seemingly-successful fellow does not see himself in this way at all.

Another friend is an actress – someone I admire and would actually like to get to know better. But the thing is, the woman is always busy. She seems to be booking shows left and right, teaching classes, doing standup. In my mind, she is making waves and kicking ass at what she loves.

But I wonder if she sees it that way. I wonder if she knows that to those of us on the outside, she’s nailing this whole acting career thing.

And then there’s me. For the past eight years or so, I’ve categorized myself on the side of “not doing it.” On the side of “still struggling,” “still working at it,” and “not where I want to be” in my writing career. In my mind, it’s less of a gradient and more like two sides divided by a line. I’m either “there,” or “not there.” And until I’m there, that must mean I’m not there, right?

But what if it isn’t so simple? What if there are not two sides at all, and no gradient, and nothing but:

Here.

Here is where we all are, in this moment. It’s all we’ve got. It’s the place where our stories slip from our lips, telling half-truths to anyone who will listen. In this way we create our own realities: coffins confining us, or open spaces to explore.

So what if, artists and creators, we merely choose to tell a different story – from here?

What if we forget about judging ourselves, just for a moment, for not being where we want to be just yet? For not making the impact we’ve hoped to?

For not “doing it”?

Because if you start from here, just here, you might notice that you’re doing a lot more than you thought. Give yourself some credit.

And maybe, just maybe, start to listen when people tell you what a great job you’re doing. Let it sink in.

You may be making more of an impact than you think.

My name is Natalie and as you might have surmised, this is my very first blog post. There won’t be much fanfare, I fear, for as of now, there is probably nobody reading this.

Which takes the pressure off of me, really.

See, I recently joined Goodreads’ Author Program as my debut novel, The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able, was just published on June 30 (about a week and a half ago).

And so, in an attempt to fill in this altogether empty and dreary space that is my Author Page, I will write a blog! I will write and write, and write some more! My words will spill into the Internet Void until one day, one person notices this brand new author page and thinks, “Hm. I wonder what she’s written on this blog?” And won’t it be nicer to have posts up and ready for her, than to have to scramble to write them then?

I think so too.

Author’s Note: If today happens to be that day, that you, dear reader, have decided to start reading my brand new blog, I apologize for the babbling. I promise to deliver wise, profound, hilarious, and altogether life-improving posts in the future, but for now, alas, I am just getting started.

Now let’s watch a funny video.