December 10, 2012

An insider's view of WICE's Write-In course

Kate Kemp-Griffin’s Write-In course brings together people who share a passion for writing and the burning desire to put their stories on paper.  For ten sessions, two hours were spent writing, aimed at completing individual goals.  As motivation, several published writers such as Stephen Clarke, Jami Bernard, and Adrian Leeds joined these sessions to share their journeys of getting their books published. 
It can be hard to stay motivated when writing alone because the feeling of isolation often leads to discouragement.   Working alongside other writers brings a sense of belonging and confidence that inspires everyone to work harder.  
After having already taken traditional writing courses, I signed up for Write-In to finish my book.  I no longer wanted opinions and suggestions, just increasing word counts.  This is an elusive goal, when trying to write in a distraction filled home.     

Kate Kemp-Griffin and Jami Bernard

photo by Veronica Kugler

In the first session after a brief introduction, Kate simply told us to start writing.    Hmm… no texting, phone calls, internet, or family to send me off course.  How many times in the past have these distractions stolen precious time and prevented me from writing? 
Quickly, the words flowed from my mind to my fingertips, for I had come to class prepared with many ideas.  As I typed I realized that I had complete freedom to write whatever I wanted because I did not have to share it. The point of this class is to stay busy writing your own work.  Not reading and critiquing. 
To my surprise, I found that the collective flow of everyone’s ideas being transformed into words was contagious.  So I typed furiously and ended up plunking out 2,000 words.  At the end of the session Kate looked at me and exclaimed, “What on earth!” 
Apparently through the silence of the small classroom, everyone had heard me typing like crazy.  Unwittingly, I had set the bar high for myself. They were going to expect me to type like this every time.   Daydreaming would never be an option because my classmates would immediately know by the silence of my keyboard.   
For the next class, I thought about coming with only a pad of paper and pen, but I figured with the ultra silent classroom, my classmates could probably discern the difference between coherent sentences and doodled tic-tac-toe games played against myself.    Instead, I stuck with my loud laptop, actually using this peer pressure as an added motivating factor to keep me writing.  [Nevertheless - Christmas wish list: discreet 11” ultrabook with silent keys.]
WICE Stephen Clarke author
Stephen Clarke
Photo courtesy of Kate Kemp-Griffin
As previously mentioned, an accomplished writer often joined us to talk about their writing and answer our questions.     Through these talks we learned that each writer’s journey to publication was vastly different from one another.  There is no cookie-cutter model to become a published writer.  Sometimes after speaking, the authors would stay and work on their own writing.   This inspired us even more knowing that we were all just doing the same thing –following our dreams.      
Regardless if you’re working on a book, or are just getting started and haven’t yet figured out what you want to write, the benefits of this class are three-fold:  1) a safe environment to make progress towards your writing goals, 2) new friendships with fascinating people who share your passion and inspire you, and 3) an intimate and unique opportunity to talk to published writers. 
If you’re still not convinced, think about this:  2,000 words x 10 sessions.  20,000 words. 
You could write a third of your book at WICE’s Write-In!
Come and join us:  registration is currently open for the next course Write-In (WJ071) starting in January 2013.
Post by Veronica Kugler