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How I Wrote My Essay Collection in 2 Months
Writing doesn't have to be torment | PLUS: Free Monthly Writing Class
The other day I was teaching a writing class on short fiction when one of the participants blurted out: huh. That wasn’t actually hard.
I could see the surprise in their own face, somewhat in disbelief how they were able to sit down and come up with ideas on the spot without feeling inspired.
I’ve seen this many times now in my classes, the effect good writing prompts and exercises can have on any writer. The mind loves to solve problems, it loves to have rules and restrictions, and equations to think through: low stakes and reward. It is so satisfying.
I think so much in the discourse about art and suffering is driven by weird power dynamics and a worthiness complex. That the process of creation has to be difficult and paved with sacrifice.
For years I bought into this narrative, torturing myself with word counts and morning pages and rigid routines that were far less helpful. Prodding a novel draft over years till I squeezed out any spark.
I always wondered how authors wrote books in a few weeks or months. It seemed unreal to me, to write with ease and joy, to finish something that was good. Then I found myself writing an essay on a warm September day in 2020. Something struck me about its structure the way it was meandering into other thoughts, other ideas, other essays I wanted to explore.
Two months later: it would be a book. A poetic memoir. I would later call it.
Something shifted for me in that process. The way I trusted myself and my methods more than any other thing I learned during my MA in creative writing or other writing workshops I’ve visited.
Something came alive.
In Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way, she calls it the artist self. I call it the knowing. Some might call it their intuition or gut feeling.
When it comes to creating, I believe it’s the voice we not only need to trust most but also a voice that needs a certain environment to be heard.
This is why I started teaching writing classes, to create this environment for others. To help them make room for their inner voice. To finally hear it clearly.
To come alive.
Which is also why I decided to offer the monthly Get Inspired – Sunday Writing Class for free for paid subscribers from now on as a gift.
If you’re not a paid subscriber yet, now is a very good moment to start a subscription.
Or if you feel like you actually want to take the next step and write your own essay collection have a look below.
NEW CREATIVE WRITING CLASSES
Write Your Essay Collection in 6 Months (only 2 spots left!)
Learn how to write beautiful essays and produce a collection that is ready to submit to publishers.
Sunday Writing Class – Get Inspired! (Free for paid-subscribers)
For those who are looking for inspiration, trying to get out of writer’s block and/or a scheduled time once a month to get some writing done: I have created the monthly Sunday “Get Inspired” hour, where I will dive into an author’s work each month, give some helpful tips to get out of writer’s block and also a lot of writing prompts to get you started.
Every last Sunday of the month (Drop-In)