For over 15 years I've been teaching writing at conferences across the country including the esteemed Festival of Faith and Writing. Teaching is the thing I did first when I arrived in Nashville - right after presenting my new novel at Southern Festival of the Book. I rolled up my sleeves and jumped right in to being at the heart of the city and it's writing community. In partnership with the Nashville Public Library I offered an all day creative writing event that makes me smile now as I write these words just thinking about it. The conference was at capacity and we had a lot of fun and laughs along the way.
I joined MTSU's Writer's Loft program founded by Roy Burkhead and served as a writing mentor for the program for two years. It's also where I made friends for life with other mentors like Terry Price (who is a great writing coach) and students. I went on to create and teach the workshop series In The Writer's Room - for two years at The Factory at Franklin.
On the side I began a little project known as Dutch Lunch for writers in all stages of publication and development and others in the Publishing industry to meet for lunch, make contacts and share their story. Every month a different network of people meeting until just about every writer knew someone in the city in this business of telling stories.
Recently, I've had the pleasure of teaching at The Porch Writer's Collective in Nashville and am presently enjoying the fun of teaching a younger group of students this semester for The Novel Idea's Pen & Paper club. In Upcoming news - I'm honored to be joining Brian McLaren as part of the faculty of presenters at the Writing for Your Life conference at Belmont University February 6-8, 2018.
All that to say -
I've been teaching for a long time through Universities, Conferences, Writing Programs and various series and workshops I've developed. It has been one of most pleasurable and significant parts of my life journey. The relationships I've developed with students over the years have been priceless and ongoing. Their individual wins in those classes, the memory of moments when a student found their 'true voice' still gives me chills. Because teaching isn't preaching. It's leading someone to the water already inside them.
Last week I made a precious phone call to a teacher that was instrumental in assisting me in finding my voice and becoming the writer I am today. We were both amazed at how many years have gone by because yes, it really does seem like yesterday when I wandered into her playwriting class not having a clue. That was a pivotal moment in my life. That one simple decision to say - Yes - that day to taking a writing class that before that moment had not been on my agenda.
In addition - unknown to almost everyone - I have been part of a Mastermind group for over two years now. Before anyone thinks it's some kind of mind-meld-Spock-voodoo or something let me explain.
A Mastermind group is a group of people who join together to achieve a related goal. Not collectivelybut individually. For two years our group has been five women who are focused on their professional development through goal setting, and learning about different areas of business from banking to marketing, self-discipline to creative influences. The results of these calls are astounding. Not a single person in the group is close to where they were two years ago. That sense of belonging or knowing that you may be having a rough week, dealing with many challenges but you are still striving to achieve your goal for the week. Still focused because you will be a part of the group call and report that progress. Some weeks are better than others but being a part of the mastermind group has been a quiet bedrock, provided a solid foundation through many changes. All of the people on the call are very different in background, personality, and career path it has been a particularly interesting to see how the one focused point of professional growth has unified and strengthened each of us individually.
All of these influences - my personal experience through years of teaching, thoughts of my teachers, and my experience being a part of a mastermind group have brought me to this point and are the reason I'm now offering the Mastermind Series. That and the fact that I believe in the art of writing. That storytelling makes a difference in this world. And that the ground between teacher and student, writer and reader, is holy. I embark on this journey of teaching the way I do everything else in my life - with prayer and reverence. With respect for the gift and the divine muse that lives in all of us.
The Mastermind Path: Following the Muse and Finding Your Audience could be the exact thing for you in this season. The seven week series will feature intimate conversations which encompass both the art of writing and the science of the practical aspects - respecting the rewrite, finding an agent, and promoting your published work.
Recently I told a good friend -
I've decided to throw away 100,000 words of my novel, take it down to the bare bones of character and place and begin again.
I could hear her quick intake of breath.
It's ok, I told her, I'm a professional. I know how to begin again with the power of certainty instead of clinging to what I've already written in fear of losing.
What ensued was an in-depth discussion about how strongly she felt I should be offering to develop and lead a mastermind group on writing. As I pulled those 100,000 words out, changed my title and hit save with a glint in my eye not from a tear but a vision of where my novel rewrite was headed - I agreed.
After many years of teaching writing at conferences across the nation including the highly respected Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College and receiving rave reviews from students and participants - I'm excited to incorporate this teaching experience and publishing knowledge with the special dynamics of the mastermind group success model.
What to Expect: Sage Advice. Weekly Classes. Writing Prompts. Personal attention. Discussions. Creative Input. Surprise Guest with years of experience as published authors discussing both the art and the business of writing.
The Introduction: Tuesday - 7AM Central Time
Please join in for a FREE introductory discussion with a surprise guest on what the upcoming mastermind sessions will incorporate.
Are you interested in writing your memoir? That long over-due novel? Or perhaps your a published author that would like to master some of the more practical points of the publishing market while navigating new technologies and trends.
For Conference Number and Access Code: Simply Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cost: $249.00
The Mastermind Path: Following the Muse and Finding Your Audience. This includes a 45 minutes session one-on-one via phone conference that locates where your writing is at this point in your life and where you would like for it to proceed. We'll set some personal goals for your progress in the 7 week series. I'm certain this personal development opportunity will inspire your writing and rock your world. (Mastermind groups with this limited number of participants normally cost 300.00-1500.00 a month)
The Location: This part is easy. No navigating traffic jams or searching for limited parking spaces. No frozen screens on webcam's. You'll be provided with a conference call number and private code to instantly access the conversation. Having a bad hair day and still in your PJ's? Nor worries. Put the phone on speaker, grab a pen, your coffee and settle in. No distractions and primping for video. Just the richness of a mastermind group moving in all the right directions.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity to form an alliance with a professional author and a dynamic group of creatives. It's time to discover where your story will take you.
Phone Booth Writer Series Student Amy Bacon Shares why this writing series is the perfect fit for her writing life.