ARE YOU A WRITER?
Are you finding it hard to get any writing done?
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On this page you’ll find:
- You’re not alone in wanting to create and feeling stuck on how
- A group that gets you, and wants to see your work
- What Ira Glass said about making art
- The new ecourse designed to help you make space each week to write
THERE ARE A LOT of people who will knock you for trying to write your personal story. Forget about all of them. The most important work that you can do if you are even 4% serious about writing is to start practicing more NOW. More practice, better work. Related to this is a short video: Ira Glass on Storytelling >
Write what you know.
What I’m offering you
Read on to learn about Write What You Know, which will show you:
- How to begin the process of letting go of fixed ideas
- How to get lost a little in the soup of creative play, exploration
- Where to find clarity on 1-3 of your emerging themes
- How to become more efficient in making time for creative work
- How to gain confidence as you sift what matters from what doesn’t
- How you can learn more about yourself than you imagined when prompted to think
- How others doing the same in a small group of 4 with you will shed more insight on your work than your best friend, coworker, or spouse
What makes me the person to be your guide?
WHO AM I? Your host. I’m Dipika Kohli. In lieu of a formal introduction, check out this TEDx on how I believe, and shared out loud, “There’s Not That Much Time Left.”
I’ve been thinking and writing a lot in these last ten years about the importance of discovering our voices. What we say to the world makes more of an impact if we can express ourselves clearly, in our unique voices To discover our gift is half of our life’s work, I believe, and to share it is the other half. I’ve been lucky to have a chance to help others find their stories through my work as a designer but also as a writing coach. Trust is the currency of our time. We build relationships, and we find someone we can connect with who seems to also have empathy and an ability to listen and reflect. Journalism work helped me refine those latter traits, and coupled with a real desire to learn about other people and their stories, I’ve created Kismuth. Now, I want to share the things I’ve discovered and learned from others before me about how to find our voice, and express our selves.
No grades. No hierarchy. No ‘how you should do it.’ Just… Space.
I’m pretty serious about this. More serious about this than anything else I’ve ever started to get an inkling for, because I’ve seen the results. People cry. People tell me they are so thankful. They send bottles of wine, thank-you cards, and season’s greetings, year over year, because the conversations in spaces like sessions of my design studio help people discover what they care about, most. (After writing three memoirs, I can add even more to the repertoire of tools and tips for getting clarity on the themes. I’ve invested three years, solid, just to writing what I know, and have learned a lot along the way about how to tap the well.)
But I started like a lot of people: thinking writing is “easy.” Just get a pen and pencil, and voila, instant book. Not so simple. But you can get from a wild and daunting place of not knowing how to discover the important messages to share and streamlining them into something very singular in vision and scope.
Introducing ‘Write What You Know’
BUNCHES OF SELF-DIRECTED study of the ‘how’ of writing got me to certain kinds of places. Books, websites, articles, how-to’s, seminars that I was forced to go to when I was a jorunalist (that I found dull and irrelevant), and even writers’ retreats, which, hey, we’re hit and miss. I did these things because I thought there were ‘ways to do this right.’ The truth is, there isn’t any single way. There is just one thing that it takes: SHOWING UP. Still, all the work in journalism and freelancing and blogging and managing client projects for some years at Design Kompany (Seattle, then later Raleigh-Durham, and now, occasionally, here I n PHnom Penh) to get things done. To take the task of writing something personal and break it into manageable steps. Some people call me their accountability partner, when they join the cojournal project. That fits. I’ll take it.
WHO IS THIS FOR? Someone who needs a bit of structure and some guidance along the way of writing on a blank page. A really giant blank page, because you might be new at this. Just haven’t committed. COMMITTED. That’s what this is about, isn’t it? Showing up means committing. Say you have this idea. You’ve been wanting to get it done. But you can’t. You just don’t know why, but it’s not happening. Why? Dunno. But! The COJOURNAL is here to help you overcome that block, the impossible-looking hump that’s stopping you from starting today to get your creative muscle working again. You don’t want to let that thing atrophy, do you? You’ll have to practice to get better, so why not start now? Really. I’m seriously asking. Why not start NOW?
SPACE. We all need it. To practice. To get better. To find our voice. To make it ours, truly ours, and untainted by the wavering doubt that comes when we aren’t fully sure of ourselves because we haven’t gone that far out to the most compelling frontiers. We cave. We let ourselves be discouraged. We think we don’t have “an idea” yet. But we aren’t making time and space to play, to get lost, to uncover, to unsort everything we think we know, dissect the rest, and edit until the beautiful nugget emerges as what’s ours, and ours alone. To give you a chance to discover your themes, I’m inviting a small, select group of people whose work I know personally to be part of the next Cojournal. Write What You Know.
What are you waiting for? The perfect moment? When you have enough money in the bank, enough ideas in the notebook, enough gumption to close the door and get to work? It’s not going to be the perfect time, ever. Did you read Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Oi.
You know that, in your gut. So here it is. A short, not-so-hard e-course that’s my way of kickstarting your fuel. Because I want to see you make and do stuff. (So does the world, and the people who will love what you make.) It’s a 6:6 program hosted in online forums (protected pages at our blogs). Pages and prompts and people and forums that I hope will inspire you, and spawn the kind of thinking that will open the floodgates to help you discover your own creative voice.
What other people are saying
Here are some testimonials:
- “It has been interesting seeing the responses from the others.”
- “Any work, no matter how small, gives a sense of continuity and accomplishment.”
- “I’ve been enjoying how you pose questions and prompts… I’m very interested to see how this project evolves and grows!”
- “I would love to read what others are writing, and would be happy to share mine as well.”
Structure is important, and here’s how it works:
- First you have to apply. Apply here.
- Selected candidates will be invited to register. Small fee applies. Scholarships are available. A very limited number of seats. Six, to be specific.
- On Mondays for 12 weeks, I’ll send you a prompt to your inbox. You’ll have until the following Sunday to respond, if you like, either personally with me, or in the forum. Nothing will be shared publicly. This is an optional sharing moment, for those who feel like doing so. Each week’s prompt is designed to take no more than 20 minutes.
- For those who stay with Write What You Know for the full 12 weeks, we’ll have a chance to think together about themes for another session, or talk about the making of an anthology if anything interesting emerges as we write together in our small circle. Again, totally optional. Just… So you know, we have an eye to building on these conversations and taking things further as we develop the connections, together.
Application form. To get started with application, tell me a little about what you would like to get out of an ecourse like this? Just add your thoughts here:
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Fees. This is a pay-as-you-go class at US $7/week. You will have a free two-week trial period to see if this is right for you. You can opt out anytime, too.
Here’s where to sign up. You can make payment through PayPal. Please put “firstname.lastname@example.org” in the “To” field.