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Featured Online Class

Sheila Bender

OVERCOMING WRITER’S BLOCK: Six Weeks of Support for Finding Your Flow  by Sheila Bender

START DATE: Monday, September 14, 2020

END DATE: Sunday, October 26, 2020

DURATION:  6 weeks

LOCATION:  Private Google Group

FEEDBACK:  Detailed Instructor Feedback and Encouraging Peer Workshop

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This class will concentrate on learning how to recognize the underpinnings of writer’s block in your writing life and on how to get back into flow whatever the reason(s) you were feeling blocked.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  • To help writers recognize the various kinds of writer’s block they may experience.
  • To work on writing stances that overcome the blocks.
  • To get their groove back.

My participation in Sheila’s “Creating the Five-Minute Memoir” class greatly expedited my work on my own memoir. Every single prompt resulted in an essay that I will easily be able to incorporate into my book; moreover, they are also evergreen and can be written from again and again. Sheila’s advice, edits, and coaching not only improved my writing, but also delivered a boost of confidence about the themes in my book. As part of our work together, she brilliantly whip-stitched my inner and outer questions together, a step that will save me untold hours as I go forward. Sheila is unique among teachers in that I believe she cares as much about her students as people as she does about their writing. This is my first class with her, and I know it will be one of many, many more! ~ Ashley Memory

This has been the most wonderful and challenging workshop I’ve ever taken. You introduced me to authors, techniques and mind-blowing assignments. Before this workshop, I would have never thought of writing a memoir in an essay format. You taught me a very powerful lesson of how writing to myself through a historical figure (very mysterious) can heal the spirit within, softly approaching life’s most heart wrenching problems on paper. I can’t wait to sign up for another one of your thought provoking workshops online. ~ Cheryl Kesling

“Writing Short, Writing Deep” called to me. This assignment in particular, to write a flash piece, in this moment, resonated strongly. I received it as an invitation to be still and to let it flow. ... Most of all, I’m very appreciative, Sheila, of the curriculum you designed, the care you took with our writing, and the encouragement and enthusiasm you provided. ~ Joan Weber

I’ve taken several classes with Sheila. Always, she’s provided generous support, great tips for writing skills, and the kind of encouragement that makes me want to write more. I look forward to the process of learning how to write better. I think due to her instruction, I am becoming a better writer. ~ Cassandra Hamilton

Sheila, I will take every possible class you teach that I can get to. Your insight, knowledge, and incredible warmth and encouragement made our class the highlight of all those I’ve ever taken. Can’t thank you enough. ~ Shirley Clukey

Thank you for your amazing insights and knowing just the right way to pluck at my threads to help me to open to the page. That in itself is a very rare and admirable art. ~ Cassandra Hamilton

Sheila, Thank you for another great writing course. I appreciated having the specific instructions each week and reading well-written models on the topic. And thanks for your invaluable feedback. ~ Debra Gilbreath

I have taken several online courses with relatively famous women writers, and you have been the most giving and involved with genuine feedback and follow-through. I thank you for that. I have learned from reading your remarks to others and the assignments have been thought-provoking and challenging—just the right mix for an aspiring writer. ~ Lori Talarico

. . . this has been a very productive class for me. I’ve learned a lot and feel like I have grown a lot in the process. ~ Margaret Riordon

First, I just want to say thank you for this course. I began focusing my time on writing last fall, but found that I needed some guidance. I was looking for a new perspective, a container that would help to create a form for what I was trying to capture. You have introduced some new authors that will help me to move in new directions. ~ Debra Gilbreath

What I am particularly struck by with Sheila is that she presents a great comforting wisdom from her background and experience; yet she also has an enthusiasm for the craft of writing that feels like she just got started yesterday. The enthusiasm is contagious and really inspired me to open up and let my inner critic take a break... it is a great skill and talent to mix nurturing support with honest critical comments. I feel Sheila possesses that type of talent and finesse. ~ Wendy A. Johnson

WEEKS AT A GLANCE:

Week One: Where’s the Beef?
Sometimes we don’t really know what is missing for us or why we aren’t writing the way we want to be. We’ll discuss this in our posts to one another and learn from other writers on the topic.

Assignment: You’ll start by describing your thinking about what specifically is upsetting you about your writing or lack of writing. The instructor will post the published thoughts of other writers to help as well as offer prompts for you to use to write your thoughts. Your classmates as well as the instructor will respond to what you post.

Week Two: Chip Off the Old Block
Now describe the writer’s block(s) as if a piece of wood (or marble) that you possess. Imagine it is waiting to be carved. Again, the instructor will post the published thoughts of writers to help as well as offer prompts to use in your write. She and your classmates will respond to your posted work.

Assignment: Post your work and respond to classmates’ work.

Week Three: Am I Sitting on the Block?
Participants will describe themselves relative to the block to get at passive/aggression and fear of writing. Where do you sit relative to the block? What is your overhead view and your underneath view and your side view of the block?

Assignment: The instructor will post the published thoughts of writers to help as well as offer prompts to use in your writing. She and classmates will respond to your posted work.

Week Four: Have I Lost the Block, But I Keep Looking for It?
What might it mean that you are trying to convince yourself that you can’t find your writing self?

Assignment: You’ll read writer’s thoughts on making way for the writing self to surface, and use prompts to let that life come forward as you write.

Week Five:  Show Me the Door
The way out is the way in, but what if you can’t find the door?

Assignment: We will use your posts of older writing (up to 3700 words) that you feel hasn’t gone anywhere. The instructor will help you find your way to deeper writing throughout the piece you post.

Week Six: Revision is Part of Flow!
Now that the door is open, a certain stance toward revising further becomes part of overcoming writer’s block. Learn the stance and writer’s block will become way less severe!

Assignment: We’ll look at and respond to your revisions of the work you posted last week after received and digested the group and instructor’s initial response. The instructor will post questions to ask yourself when you feel stuck so you can feel supported post class.

Materials needed:  The instructor will post each of the 6 weeks’ lessons with exercises and models at the opening of each week so students can work on generating that writing on their own time, at their own speed during the week. She will respond to posted work within 24 - 48 hours so the writer can get started on revising. Revisions can be posted at any time during our six weeks together. Please provide a Gmail address for the classroom use.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:  Sheila Bender, founder of WritingItReal.com, is the author of many books on writing, including the popular Writing Personal Essays: Shaping and Sharing Your Life Experience and Creative Writing DeMystified. Her memoir is entitled A New Theology: Turning to Poetry in a Time of Grief. Her book of poems is Behind Us the Way Grows Wider. She has been updating previously published books. Two of them are now available in print and digitally on Amazon and through bookstores: Writing in a Convertible with the Top Down, co-authored with Christi Killien Glover, and Sorrow’s Words: Writing Exercises to Heal Grief. As a writer, teacher and editor, she believes that writing so others understand our hearts and minds helps us understand ourselves, heal grief and sadness and grow. She is a frequent presenter at conferences and writers’ centers such as Centrum Foundation’s summer Port Townsend Writer’s Conference, the Whidbey Island’s writer’s conference workshops, the Writer’s Workshoppe in Port Townsend, WA, and the Kahini writing program’s writer’s workshops.

COST:  $180. The class will use a Google Groups format, to which the instructor will provide access and help learning the ropes. Please provide a gmail address.

BUY NOW:  Overcoming Writer’s Block, by Sheila Bender (6 weeks, starting 9/14/2020) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is full. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 9/14/2020

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Notes: Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
classroom[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com

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