Manuscript Consultations; Coaching Sessions; One-to-one Instruction
I am in love with the craft of writing, and with assisting others to enter the process and take the journey toward full realization of their art. I am moved by the true story, the truth of the invented story, and the way that truth is abundant in the mystery of a poem. I work with fiction, whether long or short; memoir and personal essay; and poetry, my first love.
I have worked with writers who have barely written a page, or written only in journals, and writers who have written thousands of pages; the published and the unpublished; people with extensive formal educations and people whose experience may be greater than their book learning; those with terrible fear of writing and others who seem to write effortlessly.
We will work together to arrive at the deepest and most surprising revelations about your work. I will be of use in helping you to grow the world of your writing, and to multiply the possible roads toward full expression.
I will help you open the way to discovering and developing your own work. Find your voice and the voices of your narrators and characters; enter the fullness of your stories and the themes embodied and explored; jump into the varied music of your language, and of your narrator’s and character’s language; move toward the sometimes mysterious arrival at structure.
Together we open up the writer’s skills and gifts you possess, to more fully realize the impulse that has pushed you to begin a story or poem or memoir. I am usually able to see and hear and understand, as I read what a writer has written, where the work is not fully realized, where it loses its courage or its faith or its live musical power, where it loses its own truth. Or, simply, where it is not yet finished. (Many writers punish themselves for what they feel is “bad” writing, when it is simply writing that is not yet complete, not yet fully developed and not yet arrived at the fullness of the truth it holds.)
I am happy to say that my work with many individuals has helped them go way beyond what stops them in their writing. (I don’t believe in Generic Writer’s Block, but rather that we have been affected by many kinds of silencing, individual and societal. There is also a part of the writing process that is quiet, an internal “cooking” process, an underground process that may seem a kind of silence or wordlessness, but which yields riches for our writing.)
Whether we work together on a one-to-one basis or you participate in classes or workshops with me, you will walk away with many more tools for your writing and with full permission from yourself to use them all with infinite creativity. John Gardner said, in The Art of Fiction, “…there may be rules (formulas) for ordinary, easily publishable fiction…there are no rules for real fiction….There are techniques—hundreds of them…”
I believe in deep grounding in craft, whether for prose or poetry, fiction or memoir, along with the full presence of all the writer’s abilities to help bring forward work that is thematically rich, wonderfully woven, and powerfully phrased.