Pen on Fire — Syllabus

Confidence: Letting go of disclaimers. Finding compassion for yourself. The differences between freewriting vs. journaling and the benefits of each.

Rituals: Finding what works for you. Identifying your strengths. Visiting with your work.

Playing to your strengths: Choosing the right genre. Throat clearing, vamping, and prevaricating. Breaking through resistance to tell the story you want to tell.

Obstacle of the Self: Getting out of your own way. What are the obstacles you most frequently impose on yourself? Discovering them, developing tactics to get rid of them, and preventing new ones from appearing.

The Inside Story: Whose story is it, anyway? Who is the narrator? Who is driving the action? Paring away all distractions and focusing on who is telling this story.

The Finer Points of Revision: Where to start when you feel lost. Things to keep an eye out for. Creating a plot board.

Where are you going? Where have you been?: How your past influences your thinking about your work. Setting goals. Using compassion and poetry to grow your writing.

Marketplace Madness: To publish or not to publish? Putting yourself out there. Surviving the business of writing with your psyche intact.

No MFA Needed Here: What are the elements of an MFA program that could help you grow your writing? Finding them in your community and your life. Connecting to the literary world.

Persevering: Handling rejection. Minimizing rejection. Techniques for persistence and perseverance.