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Q. Do I have to do everything in the course?

A. You don't have to do ANYTHING in the course if you don't want to, but now that you're here, now that you've paid, now that you've made an investment in your goal to write a memoir, you might as well do as much as you can. There is no harm in going through every one of the lessons--even (or especially) the ones you feel you already know and understand fully. When it comes to creative life (or all life, for that matter), a willingness to listen and investigate, to move beyond what we think we already know and open to the possibility that there is always more to learn, will always, always, serve us.

 

Q. What if I only want to write for my family?

A. tale of woman in Owen Sound who had included floor maps of houses, sketches of neighbourhood, etc.

 

Q. What if my story isn't very dramatic?

A. SAID THIS IN one of the LESSONs...At the beginning of every live workshop I offer, we begin by going around the table and introducing ourselves and a bit about what we are interested in writing about. Inevitably, at some point in these introductions, someone will look sheepish and begin their introduction by saying, "well, my story isn't as interesting as everyone else's..." And then--also inevitably--they will give us a short summary of the story and the whole room is left gobsmacked. Happens almost every time.

OR...Often these stories are prefaced by the words, "well, my life hasn't really been that interesting, but..." only to be followed by an account of something so remarkable that everyone at the table is left gobsmacked.

It's not that their lives were particularly harrowing or exotic or adventurous. They may never have left the town where they grew up (though that's increasingly rare).

Q. What if I don't like doing writing exercises?

A. I understand! Some people love exercises and others would rather stand on their head for hours (I'm in the second category), so please do whatever inspires you and encourages you to write. If you do want to do the exercises, there is something to be said for consciously focussing them on your project (rather than writing about another subject just for the purposes of the exercise), as it will be satisfying to see your project moving forward, but as I always tell people when they ask what they should write about: go where the energy is.

 

Q. If I take this course, can you guarantee that I will finish my book?

A. Oh, that such a course existed on this planet. It could cost $10,000 and writers would pay it willingly.


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