Free Online Writing Workshop in 2021

I’m going to be doing a free multi-session online writing workshop in 2021, and I invite you to join me!

Hint: if you’re finding this after the workshop completed, you’ll find the recordings on my YouTube channel. Sorry, I can’t take individual Q&A via this website.

After Chrissy LeMaire invited me onto her Twitch channel to discuss how I write so much, so fast, and after several comments on my own Twitter feed about writing, I decided to throw together a little workshop series. It’s free! Now, that means the times are going to have to coordinate with my full-time job, full-time family, and other commitments, but I promise to record them and post the results to my YouTube channel (see above).

Also: the original Twitch video is also on my YouTube channel, just in case.

This is going to happen in Q1 and possibly Q2 of 2021. If you’re interested, I’d ask that you sign up for my mailing list. That list is 99% dedicated to my fiction writing efforts, so it may not all seem applicable, but it’s the only mailing list I have, I don’t want to create a new mailing list just for this, and I’m not putting Zoom links on the public Internet, no way, no how. You can easily unsubscribe after the workshops, if you want.

I find that I tend to approach technical writing and fiction writing in much the same way, and so I’m going to use a decent amount of my fiction writing as examples. In doing so, I feel it kind of abstracts the subject matter, so it’s easier to relate to the process and not just the topic. But this stuff is 100% applicable, whether you’re writing:

  • Technical books
  • Blog articles
  • Fiction books
  • Emails to a colleague
  • Anything longer than a tweet or Slack message

This’ll probably start in January 2021, and continue for several sessions. I’m planning this loosely and intending to sort of evolve-as-I-go, but the rough layout is going to look something like this:

  1. Accepting things that you cannot change. Like, accepting the fact that people will judge what you produce. People’s brains work in a certain way and you can’t change it. You will mess up, because you are not an indestructible robot. Things will be harder when you start and only get easier with practice.

  2. Teaching is not inventing new information. Teaching is not being an expert. Teaching is storytelling, and there is a fundamental pattern and purpose of storytelling.

  3. Writing is not necessarily a creative art. Blocking and outlining is a creative art, and if you do them well, writing becomes easy. I can write 6,000 words between 8am and noon and not break a sweat, and it’s because I have a process I follow, and that process focuses a lot more time on blocking and outlining than most people realize.

  4. There is a reason editors of various types exist in the world (I mean people, not software apps). I am actually only a B+ writer, but I work with editors, so I look a lot better than I am. We’ll look at the “editorial process.”

  5. Stuff technical writers always screw up, in part because they’ve forgotten what it was like to be new at something, and in part because college writing classes are of the devil.

  6. The business of writing. How publishers work, how royalties work, how self-publishing works, all that jazz.

I want to emphasize something: Attending live is going to be a far better experience than watching the recordings because you will be able to participate and ask questions. Also, talking to a Brady Bunch Zoom screen with like 4 people is going to bum me out, and the content won’t be as good. I do a lot better with a crowd to talk to, trust me. So you’ll get as much from this as you put into it.

So we’re looking at roughly six sessions of up to an hour apiece. Again, if you’re interested, hit my mailing list and sign up. I will have the schedule put out in the early February 2021 newsletter (so if you’re reading this after that, you missed out, sorry—try my YouTube channel for recordings as they’re posted), and we’ll aim for a session a week for six weeks. We may go longer if people bring up stuff that necessitates another session.

You’re welcome to jump in on whichever sessions interest you the most; stay on the mailing list for any add-on sessions that we come up with.

I hope to see you then!