Write like a motherfucker. ~ Cheryl Strayed
That’s what I want you to do. I want you to write with blood, sweat, and tears. I want you to to write the best freaking thing you can possibly write. I want you to write like a motherfucker.
But you’re worried, right? You’re worried you’re not good enough, that you could never possibly be good enough to write the books inside you, that snazzy YA or that literary gem or that twisty-turny mystery. You wonder if you really have it.
Craft counseling is for any writer, at any stage in their writing career. It's an opportunity to invest in your craft through private craft instruction and mentorship. It's you, me, and all your craft issue for one month.
Dancers have class, musicians have rehearsals, painters have workshops. Writers very rarely have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a teacher, to be observed in process, and editors are so busy these days that few have the time to invest in their writers to help them improve. So how the hell do you get any better? Unless you have a kickass writer's group, it's pretty hard to do much more than keep writing and keep trying.
This is where I come in. My approach is based on the years of mentorship I received when I was going through my MFA program, an invaluable experience that let me work closely with a different mentor for six months at a time. My craft improved in leaps and bounds because of the close attention my teachers paid to my work and the dialogue that we had about it. We interrogated my craft. They got deep into my particular issues: what my writer tics are, how to learn to identify when something is working or not working, and what areas of my writing are weak. We also worked on that ever elusive concept of voice, as well as the fundamentals of metaphor and other figurative language.
This is exactly the kind of thing we'll be doing together over a month-long period of close study of your writing. Craft counseling is tailored to you, so it looks different for every writer. You don't have to have a complete book, but I do need a writing sample as a starting-off point. A short story or a few chapters of a work-in-progress will do--up to 75 pages of work. I'll be assigning writing exercises and craft texts, as well as other creative homework. We'll get some blood on the page and work your writing muscles so that you can write with your head and your heart.
You might already know some of your struggles, so we'll talk about that in your intake. If you have a particular thing you want to focus on, we can absolutely hit that hard.
What Craft Counseling Looks Like
• Two calls, one at the beginning of the month-long process and one at the end. Each call will last approximately 60 minutes. Each call will be thoroughly prepped beforehand so we can maximize the time.
• Craft Assessment: What this means is that before our work begins, you will send me up to 75 pages of any piece of writing you wish and I will figure out our game plan. I’ll be looking for your writer tics, areas that need improvement, strengths, holes in craft and story knowledge, etc. I look at the macro and the micro.
• The assessment will be discussed over the phone and you will also receive a lengthy editorial letter, as well as detailed notes on the manuscript itself. These letters act as teaching moments for the areas you need work in. I will point out what needs work, why it needs work, and give you next steps, as well as look at the exercises I give you to see if you’re getting the teaching.
• In addition to the writing exercises I assign to work on specific craft issues, you’ll also be receiving online resources, reading, and more.
• After you’ve had a chance to soak all of this in (with lots of emailing back and forth), I will read and do surgery on one revision of the initial 75 pages (it is also possible that we’ll throw those out and start from scratch - the assessment will help me determine the best course of action, but wither way, I’ll be looking at many revised pages to make sure the lessons are sticking).
After our work is finished, I will curate a reading list for you (Inspiration, Comp Titles, Helpful Articles, etc.) for further education, and make suggestions about your next steps to take.
I take on a limited number of clients, so payments aren't currently set up here on the website. If you're interested in any of the services, please email me and I'll let you know my availability and get to know you a bit more. In the meantime, be sure to set up a free Focusing Call so we can connect!