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A Novel In a Month? I Don’t Recommend it. Here is What I DO Recommend

(photo courtesy of Maria Kim)

It’s better to take the journey and experience all the beauty along the way than to muse about shortcuts.

You can write 50,000 words in a month, but you will not have written a novel, you will have put words onto a ream of paper.  Yep, I have an opinion about the idea of NaNoWriMo. I get it, we need to encourage people to write, but let’s also encourage people to make meaningful art. We have enough things encouraging us toward immediate gratification, but we all know that evolution doesn’t consider word count.

Here is what I do recommend. Get a daily writing routine where you challenge yourself to write about the event that impacted you in that way that the movement of the glaciers impacted the face of the earth. Put somebody on notice like your therapist, priest, Granmama or whoever else is inclined to help you through a growth spurt, and start writing. What ever is left in your wake, will be meaningful for the rest of us, and where you end up will likely surprise you with its newness, grace and beauty.

If you start now, and write everyday, the journey might take 9 months to a year to get to the first draft, but what ever the word count, you will be a transformed creature when it’s all said and done.

Use The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript as your travel guide. You have to DO the whole book, but Part Two begins The Stepping Stones Exercise,  which comprises 29 of the book’s 55 writing prompts and leads you on a life-journey of raw material for the full-length manuscript.  See details below.

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Zelda’s PhD Updates & Fall Workshop Crop Rotations


Hi Fabulous Folks!

I just got back from my last summer residency at Lesley University in Cambridge. I passed my qualifying exam this summer and presented my research to my graduate community, and of course logged library hours and beach hours.

During my dissertation year (starting now) I will be conducting another study, going to conferences, reading, writing, and diversifying the ways that I think about working with the magical healing powers of writing. I plan on graduating in 2018 if all goes well.

So, I will be teaching the Full-Length Manuscript Workshop. I won’t be conducting Private Consultations, Write-Ins or other workshops until later in 2018. This was a super difficult decision to make, because I love my work here, and don’t like the idea of missing out on growing with so many of you for so many months. On the other hand, I am super excited to do the Full-Length Manuscript Workshop and to go out and reap the benefits of this powerful dissertation year. I’ll be studying, writing about, and speaking about the potential benefits of writing a story through to revelation and outcome using the methods that I’ve established from years of working with you all.

Speaking of those methods, in the absence of workshops at the Studio, try getting together with friends and taking a writing journey together using The Soul of the Full-Length Manuscript.

You can also still find me out and about in the coming months reading from The Soul and doing mini-workshops from the book. I will keep you posted on those via this newsletter. I will also be reading at North Carolina Central where I am Alumni Endowed Chair for the Language and Literature Department. I will also be presenting from my research this fall at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference and a few other conferences this winter.

Think of this as time to let the fields go fallow. Since our folks were ancient, there has been the practice of letting the field be still so that better crops grow the next year.

You know I love me some metaphors.

Peace and Gratitude,
Zelda


The Full-Length Manuscript Workshop

9 Months of Sundays

2017 – Sept 10, Oct 8, Nov 5, Dec 10,
2018 – Jan 7, Feb 4, March 4, April 8, May 6

The Full‐Length Manuscript Workshop takes the novice and experienced writer from the blank page, through the emotional, psychological, and spiritual experience of creating raw material from a person plot while combining the unorthodox use of craft to bring the manuscript through to the first draft of a full-length literary work of fiction, memoir or poetry.

Fee: $950 **Payment Plan Available Upon Request**
Click Here to Request a Registration Form