When getting down the bones also means extricating the skeleton from that closet . . .
A workshop to help you do so with ease, light, and support to get your work flowing, written, and even out into the world.
_Writer's block —those times when we struggle with our writing, our work, and our belief in our self as a writer — feels like tar must have felt to the mastodon.
It smells like yesterday's coffee at the bottom of the cup still on your writing desk, where it sat forgotten when you abandoned ship.
It tastes like disappointment, fear, and scared stuck in the back of the throat.
It has many disguises: It can look like hyper-activity with no production (energy without the light of expression of a soul-on-earth); no activity yet with ideas on rev, spilling forth like birdseed on the backstep; or another load of laundry calling you in the basement.
It sounds like this:
"I'm going to finish my book -- just after I . . ."
"I never have time to write . . ."
"Oh the work is going great, but I've become distracted by the research. . . There's so much to know!"
"My setting is off . . . I want to recast the _____________ — again." (main character, era, pov, plot) "I don't think my idea is in vogue anymore. It's not a cowboy vampire mystery romantic thriller set in a future time . . ."
"Book project? Did I say I was writing a book? " . . .
And it's no fun.
In fact, struggling as a writer — or being blocked as a writer — makes one doubt one's existential raison d'être, which is perhaps the cleanest diagnosis of the malady: Doubting one's reason to live, breathe, and/or doubting the value of the Story or Work you hear and feel inside you wanting to get out. Doubting one's reason to be here, or one's sanity, or both is no way to treat your Writer-self.
Well-meaning friends of writers often try to be helpful, either through simple encouragement --"I've always wanted to write, too; what's there to it?" — or by offering to read what you've written and then, with thin smile on pursed lip, remarking how-good-it-might-be, followed by how much your work really reminds them of a well-known author whose work sold millions last year and who must have 'really said all there was about that topic, don't you think?'
Attending writers' meetings where aspiring authors read from their works-in-progress — when you are blocked or discouraged — is like attending an Eater's Anonymous meeting where people list the things they ate today, when you yourself are starving and out of money for bread. That doesn't help or improve your situation, either.
Our Writer's Block workshop is different. It may even be one of a kind.
You'll come with empty note pad and favorite pen. Bring works in progress or abandoned if you wish, but we'll set these aside at first.
You'll drink hot chocolate or tea and, through a series of finely-tuned, short explorations, you'll consider first thoughts and feelings as we begin to edge around the dark pools of gripping tar and bitter tastes, and play hide-and-seek with Voice and Psyche. We'll scale walls, find the door, and blast through them. We'll revisit identity and peek at beliefs that are the trip-wires at our feet.
Based on years of experience in holding hands with reluctant and discouraged writers, we'll quietly explore the nature of your block and get to work — gently— on meeting the page, committing to product and paper, all within a few supportive days with others similarly struggling. You'll receive encouragement that you are going in the right direction. We'll share in feedback (if you wish).
Or you can do this work solo in a mentoring or coaching relationship if you prefer; there's more information on that on the Coaching and Mentoring pages.
So if you are having trouble finishing that novel or non-fiction work or are lost in the middle of the n'th rewrite, it's time to seek some support from those who get the darkness of the closet you are in at the moment. No writer can or should be an island, and a room of one's own is best when filled with the light of progress, not drawing the shades in self-doubt.
If you are among a group of writers, all of whom are struggling or needing encouragement, contact us to set up a weekend workshop in your backyard. These can be set up quickly, at your convenience, and can be organized to be held as many times in your region as your group deems necessary!
Develop and Host a Workshop Near You! A long weekend overnight workshop can be set up near you with a group of ten or more. Please contact us with requests.
Thank you to Liam's From Old Books. http://fromoldbooks.org for great images.
The dreaded cells of Vincelles. . .
Based on years of experience in holding hands with reluctant or discouraged writers . . .
We'll quietly explore the nature of your block . . . and get to work — gently — on meeting the page, breaking through the wall . . . all within a few supportive days with others similarly struggling.
Attending a workshop to help you find your voice is also a great reason to travel and take time for your Artist-self!
ONLINE coming soon! Other U.S. or Canadian locations: Formats available are 3-day intensives or two-three sessions weekly for one or two weeks and are slightly higher in price. Please contact us and we'll see what we can offer! Minimum number of participants is 8.
United Kingdom: 3-day intensive — long-weekend Friday - Sunday, *all-day-format: £200/person with a minimum of 8 participants, can be arranged at your convenience. Please enquire!
Fortnight workshop — This is the three-day intensive spread over six afternoons or evenings over two weeks, *half-day-format only, £250/person with a minimum of 8 participants, and can be arranged in a location of your preference. Please enquire; we do these as special requests by writer's groups.
3 long days, 4 nights including arrival evening soiree *hosted (day, evening and overnights, workshops, teas, farewell dinner, and camaraderie), see locations below for details.
At the moment, these are offered only as part of the Explore/Write/Be locations in:
Glasgow, Scotland (November 2017): $375 or £ or EU equivalent workshop only Includes opening evening welcome soiree and lunches, tea/snacks. Workshop is held in a private home near Glasgow, Scotland . There is a separate, additional cost of overnight accommodations which are available in a variety of possibilities nearby, based on your traveling party needs. Overnight accommodations nearby range from approximately £40/night and up. Your personal travel costs from your home to the UK and to the city where the workshop is held are made by you; however complete travel packages can be arranged to meet your total travel needs. More information can be found on our Explore/Write/Be pages.
Prague (Winter 2018, two half-week workshops offered, one for blocks and one for starting or finishing your projects + 1 Here You Begin day in the middle): 1/2 week (4 nights, 3 full days with lots of one-on-one coaching time) $500 for workshop only and includes opening evening welcome soirée, farewell dinner, and teas and kola´c.. Why not do all three workshops and spend one full week in Prague for the special price of $900 (accommodation and travel not included)
(NOTE: We offer special, discounted 'locals' rates available for local Prague residents taking into account the exchange rates, so please enquire.)
Accommodation fees are separate and run from approximately $135/night and up at Residence Monastary, who will be hosting our workshops during the week. A variety of rooms are available as well as at other nearby hotels , pensions, or private flats if you prefer to spend the week. We have a list of possibilities and encourage you to choose one that is within 10 minutes walking of our monastary inn and/or workshop location. Does not include your personal travel costs from your home to Prague; complete travel packages can be arranged however for your ease. Please enquire if interested. More information can be found on our Explore/Write/Be pages.
Paris, France (Autumn 2017, 4 days): $600 (also payable in EU at going exchange rate at time of reservation) This is a special 4-night, 4-day session on blocks and struggles as well as working with you personally on great starts or polishing the work you bring, held in Paris at a time only locals love it. Provided is extra time for numerous one-on-one sessions as well as for museums, cafes and parks and writing. Please see Explore /Write/Be and the Paris info for more detail.
This workshop includes refreshments, and a welcome evening soiree and farewell dinner. Accommodation fees are separate and we are arranging a special rate at a small, lovely hotel literally across the street from the flat where we will meet and work together. Your personal travel costs from your home to Paris are separate; complete travel packages can be arranged, for your ease. Please enquire if interested. More information on the workshop can be found on our Explore/Write/Be pages.
Workshop Terms and Details: Project and Writer's Block Workshops only.
Please use the form below or on each of the separate location pages to enquire on our workshops or to request a reservation.
All information from the form is used only to reach you or to register you for our workshops and is not shared in any way.
A deposit of 50% is required when we confirm your place and will be requested of you via PayPal invoice, where you may privately use a credit card or bank draft of your choice.
Balance in full is due for US workshops 14-days before the workshop begins; another invoice will be sent to you at that time. For the Explore/Write/Be workshops, special terms apply, including an 8-week cancellation deadline due to spaces held. Please see our Explore/Write/Be page for more information.
For the US workshops only, if you must cancel, you may do so at full refund if cancellation is made 2 weeks in advance of start date, less a 2% refund fee. If you must cancel within the 2 weeks before the workshop, we're happy to reschedule you to another workshop at a different time of your choosing, using your deposit or workshop fee as payment for it; we are sorry that the deposit is not refundable at this point.
If you are signing up for a workshop within 2 weeks of the start date, payment in full is due at the time of your confirmation of place and no refunds are able to be made. We are happy to try to reschedule you at another workshop if something comes up and you cannot make it, or you may use your workshop fee toward private one-on-one coaching, editing or mentoring.
Although we usually have wait-lists for these workshops, should the minimum number of participants not be met, we reserve the right to cancel, reschedule or combine workshops. In these cases, you will be offered a full refund, or a series of one-on-one mentoring hours at regular rates (see our mentoring page for more information) or the option to schedule into a later date workshop, as you prefer. All such cancellations due to too few people will be made a full ten-days before start dates. In case of weather issues, workshops will be rescheduled rather than cancelled as needed and makeup dates readily offered or replaced by one-on-one sessions at your convenience.
With your final invoice paid, location and directions to our workshop location will be provided.
If you have arrived at this page by accident, link to our Home page and see what other opportunities we offer!