Now Offering–Personal Writing Lessons!!
This is something I’ve been planning for a looong time, and I’m so excited to finally get to make the announcement on my blog! Many of you have heard my story of how I grew to become a published author at the young age of sixteen. Well, I credit a huge part in my success to my wonderful writing coach Jonathan that I worked with for about a year when I was twelve/thirteen. Before I started working with Jonathan, I knew NOTHING about writing AT ALL. So I had to learn all the basics–adjectives, adverbs, characterization, plot building–you name it! And yet, somehow along that journey, I learned something else. I learned how to embrace my passion for writing–for crafting stories and developing characters and expressing myself through words. And now, I want to be able to do that for other young people out there in the big wide world of writing. I know that there are other girls (and maybe boys?) out there who have a passion for writing but maybe need a little push to help them fine-tune their craft. Maybe you’d like a second opinion on your work, or you think you could use a bit of help “perfecting” your writing before sending it out in the scary world of agents and editors and publishers.
That’s where I come in!
Basically, I want to be your friend and mentor. I want us to have an open relationship where we can talk about writing and where I can give you writing assignments once a week and then see what flows from that. Ideally, you, as my student, will write short stories and I will look them over and write up my notes. Maybe I’ll notice that you need work developing your characterization, or setting up scenes, or working on pacing. Or maybe I’ll notice a bigger problem if I see you struggling with plotting out ahead of time or developing your tone of voice. As a seasoned writer and fresh set of eyes, I would be able to pick out these problems and work through them with you, helping you to learn to edit your own stories and stay on top of your own weaknesses.
Every month, I would also give you reading assignments based on whatever we were talking about. If I was trying to emphasize to you the importance of powerful dialog, for instance, I might have you read a play and would point out to you how that author used nothing but dialog to craft a strong story. Or we might read some poems as we study the rhythm of words and the flow of an idea. The power of literature is so important when you’re a writer, and everyone can benefit from reading (or re-reading!) the great classics that have paved the way for authors to come.
The main objective of my coaching would be not only to help you hone your writing abilities, but also to discover your artistic voice. To help you try out different styles of writing and storytelling, and help you discover what style of writing is really “you”. How can you best tell your story to the world through your pen?
It would also be a very personal and open relationship. If you were able to, I would love to start off our relationship with a little Skype chat and “get to know” each other. To talk about your goals and your favorite books and stories, and get to know a little about me, too. We would work our way through short stories, novellas, and eventually novels, all the while really analyzing your writing and discovering how to make you an even better storyteller.
I will admit that I knew practically nothing about writing until I was eleven years old, but I have learned to much over the years and I want nothing more than to share my passion with others! And to this day, no matter how nicely I think I’ve written something, I still have editors and agents who will go through and point things out and help me fine-tune my own abilities. I just want to do that for others!
Anyway, the tutoring would probably consist of an email a week. I would give you an assignment, then you would have a little under a week to complete it. You would send it in to me and I would email you back in a day or two with my comments, ideas, and your next assignment. You would (hopefully!) be constantly growing and learning and becoming aware of both your strengths and weaknesses.
Obviously, I will work on writing up a contract for my students. The cost will probably be $100 a month, and I will probably make the contract to be signed for three or four month increments at a time. I will also work on discovering contests, teen publication opportunities, and other fun opportunities for my students! The basic idea is that this should be like any other “sport” or instrumental lesson you might take in life. Just as if you were paying me to teach you piano, you’re paying for a professional opinion and for someone to work with you to develop your skill in this area. And then you would be expected to work on it your own throughout the week!
So when would this fabulous writing opportunity start? Haha, good question. Truth is, I’m pretty flexible. Right now, my schedule is pretty tied up until May, but starting at the beginning of the summer, I will be totally free! In fact, I’m stepping out on a limb with this and quitting my day job so that I have more time to work with my writing students. I’m praying that God will provide the number of students I need to make a decent living, but I feel like He’s laid this on my heart for this season in my life, so I’m optimistic that He will provide the writers!
If you and your parents are interested in lessons, or would like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s right, I changed my email address. I’d really like to keep my private life and my professional life separate, so if you all could start emailing me at this account, I’d really appreciate it!
Even if you’re not interested or can’t afford it at this time, I do sincerely hope that you continue writing and know that you can email me any time with a question. I always answer, no matter how long it may take me to write up a reply!
So what do you think? Would this be like a dream come true for some of you, or do you think I’m crazy to be quitting my job to teach writing, of all things?