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KR LaLonde

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Are You Writing Below Your Potential?

Do you ever feel as though you know what you need to do for your writing, but you can't seem to do it?

 

Maybe you know what steps you need to take. You know what you need to improve. You know HOW you want to write.

 

Yet, you aren't doing it.

 

Imagine an aspiring writer named Laura. She knows perfectly well that she has a problem with procrastination.

 

She knows that she ought to write more regularly. She wants to do it. But she doesn't.

 

When she does try to write, she gets distracted easily. She's aware of that. She knows she should turn off the phone and stop looking at the Internet.

 

She also knows that description and plotting are her stories' weakest points. She wants to use more descriptive detail. She's read books and articles about plot structure. She understands the theory of how to do it.

 

But she can't seem to put it into practice.

 

She looks at the novels of her favorite authors and thinks, "I want to write like THIS." But she can't.

 

Why not? Why is it so hard?

 

Why books on writing don’t work

Articles and books on how to write can be useful. They can point you in the right direction. But they WON'T turn you into a writer.

 

Why not?

 

To answer this question, imagine another scenario. Imagine someone who wants to be an Olympic gymnast...

 

He reads books on how to do gymnastics. He watches videos on YouTube.

 

But no matter how many books and videos he studies, he still won't be able to do a back handspring because he hasn't built up the necessary muscles.

 

As a writer, you don't depend much on physical muscles. It doesn't take much strength in your fingers to write.

 

But writing depends on developing certain mental "muscles". Unless you develop those, nothing else is going to work.

 

Books on how to write won't be much help. Learning about dialogue or character development techniques won't help.

 

No amount of advice will help, because you won't have the ability to put that advice into practice.

 

Your brain won't do it.

 

And that's the answer to the mystery that frustrates so many would-be writers. "Why doesn't it work?" they ask themselves. That's why.

 

So, what can you do about it?

 

How to get more talented

Aspiring writers often ask me if I think they're talented enough.

 

Often, the honest answer to this question is, "No, but you can be."

 

Recent neuroscience suggests you can develop your brain like a muscle. For example, if you train as a violinist, the part of your brain that controls hand movements will actually get bigger.

 

You can actually become more talented.

 

As a fiction writer, you need to develop certain mental skills. For example:

 

•   the ability to imagine scenes

 

•   the ability to get inside the head of a fictional character

 

•   the ability to tap into different parts of your brain for different writing tasks.

 

Of course, it helps to learn about character development and dialogue techniques. But you need the right mental muscles to be able to actually use them.

 

And there are other kinds of skills you'll want to build, such as:

 

•   the ability to write on command (even when you're not inspired)

 

•   the ability to focus on what you're writing and shut out distractions.

 

Just telling yourself you're going to do it isn't enough.

 

You need to build up the muscle.

 

This is great news for beginning writers. It means that most of them could be writing much, much better than they are now.

 

But if you don't develop those skills, you'll be stuck writing below your potential.

 

So, how do you get the skills you need?

 

I've prepared a special course that will show you.

 

Writer's Training

I'm Nancy, the online courses director at Creative Writing Now. Previously, I taught creative and expository writing at the University of Michigan, and now I teach writers all over the world.

 

I'm so proud of what my students have achieved with their writing. Here are a few of their comments:

 

"It is because of your instruction I was able to publish my first book, Call it Fate. I'm now working on its sequel, to boot! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! I will always recommend your courses to anyone with the desire to write!" - Elizabeth Wyke

 

“Let me put it like this Nancy. For a long time I dabbled around with a few ideas in my mind but never could get it down on paper because of lack of confidence or no discipline. I was like someone in an Art Museum up close to the painting and only seeing the dots of paint. Nancy you directed me to stand back and see the picture in a whole new light. My ideas have been moulded into something new and now I am the artist. I have gotten to know my characters so well I look forward to meeting them when I sit to write. Thanks for helping me develop this gift.” - Agnes McWey

 

"This was the best class I've ever taken for writing. I've purchased many books, magazines and joined several writing groups, but have never gotten the effects of this course out of any of those resources. I was excited every day to see the new lesson and get down to writing." - Lorraine Methot

 

"Before this course I was just a daydreamer. Now I can say, I am a writer." - Kattia Chavarria

 

A year ago, I decided to develop a very special fiction writing course.

 

It's different from ordinary writing courses because it shows you how to build the mental "muscles" you need to succeed.

 

Without these muscles, nothing else that you try to improve your writing is likely to be much help.

 

I called the course "Writer's Training."

 

What you'll learn:

 

•   how to come up with great story ideas

 

•   how to write more fluidly

 

•   how to imagine scenes in vivid detail

 

•   how to write under all kinds of conditions (e.g., when you're busy, when you're distracted, when you're tired, when you're uninspired)

 

•   how to mentally transport yourself into your character's mind and the world of your story

 

•   how to absorb the style and techniques of your favorite authors to make them part of your writing toolkit

 

•   how to find hidden writing time in your day (even if you have a crazy schedule)

 

•   how to use the best parts of your brain for different writing tasks

 

•   how to overcome common obstacles such as trouble starting, freezing up, self-consciousness, running out of steam partway through a story, fear, and procrastination

 

•   how to maintain your concentration long enough to get the job done.

 

This is a 20-day course that will start on the 4th of June. (That's the official start date, but if you prefer to start later, you can complete the lessons any time in the next 6 months).

 

The course consists of twenty written lessons and exercises.

 

Since the course is designed with a self-study format, you can complete it from anywhere in the world, fitting the coursework into your daily schedule.

 

This course is for you if...

 

•   you are serious about wanting to write stories or novels.

 

•   you have ever wondered why your fiction isn't going the way you want it to.

 

•   you are a beginner or a more experienced fiction writer.

 

This course is probably NOT for you if...

 

•   you aren't interested in the fiction genre.

 

•   you aren't willing to put in the necessary work to grow as a writer.

 

IMPORTANT:

 

•   This course has been designed for self-study and doesn't include feedback on your writing assignments. While teachers will be available to answer general questions, they won't be able to read or comment on your creative writing.

 

•   Enrollment for this course is limited, so if you're interested, please sign up as soon as possible.

 

Sign up now

 

 

Writer's Training - Includes 20 online lessons with assignments and the chance to ask a teacher general questions. Feedback on assignments is not available for this course.

Total price: $79

 

 

Feedback on our courses

"The first week of the course, my writing moved from random thoughts to stories, which, at first, emerged from the optional prompts. About midway through the second week, I began writing scenes for a novel that I've envisioned for years. For the remainder of the course time, I worked only on that story-line. At some point, I realized that the character was emerging on his own and surprising me with things that he wanted to do. This is a feature of writing that I've heard about but do not remember experiencing in this way until now."

– Mary Early

 

“I have found that after only 30 days, my writing is now more focused and it certainly flows easier. Sometimes now, I have to staunch the words pouring out of me, just so I can get some sleep. I no longer compare writing to bleeding a rock and for that alone Nancy, you have my absolute gratitude! Thank you so much for enabling me through your knowledge, to gift myself writing!”

– Jessica Clarke

 

"I am so enjoying the course. I have always wanted to write and have found, over the years, every excuse under the sun to not write. After reading through your material and the wonderful tips and suggestions I began on my three characters. I actually had to drag myself off to bed, reluctantly. I just couldn't stop."

- Laura McCarthy

 

“This course totally taught me how to be a writer. It was the best investment I have ever made.”

- Mary Jean Westerlund

 

“I find my writing flows better and ideas seem to flood into my brain. Since starting the course I have a new confidence when starting a piece of writing."

- Christine Henderson

 

“This has been the most productive, creative month I’ve had.”

- Nancy Pazner

 

"I really have learned many things that have changed the way I think about writing. I've taken many college, even Masters level writing courses, and must tell you that I have learned much more from your courses than I have from any of those classroom courses.

 

I work for a college, and often teach adjunct in technology and other subjects, I have even taught developmental writing. However, in discussions with my coworkers who teach beginning college level writing, and who are themselves creative writers, I have had positive input in our conversations about writing that they have never heard, or thought about writing. Ideas and techniques I have gotten from your courses. I have enjoyed the learning I have received, and look forward to taking future courses from you."

- Prue Prentice

 

“This course has taught me to be more focused and more serious about my writing. I have enjoyed the writing options at the end of each lesson. Absolutely thrilling to just pick up a pen and write. No more staring at a blank sheet of paper with the pen in my hand hovering over the paper. Thank you for giving me confidence in my writing and believing that I could do this!”

- Karen Cardwell

 

"I saw that my writing had improved 100%."

- Jill Gairdner

 

“I can't get over how I have changed in only 1 month. I am happier than I have been in a long time!”

- Mary Durso

 

"Thank you for a course that builds writing skills with direction to excellence. Everything was included, possibly more than college courses can offer."

- Janett Lee Wawrzyniak

 

“It has got me writing again, (something I had "lost" for about 4yrs). It has brought back to me my one "passion" in life that I have always loved.”

- Karen Connell

 

"One of my stories, "Bubble", has been published. If I hadn't taken your course I couldn't even imagine that. Many, many thanks for inspiring me."

- Rasheed

 

"Must say I'm SOO glad I opted into this class, it's been eye-opening on many levels."

- Courtenay Schurman

 

"I want to thank you for all of your support and the wonderful writing lessons that you provide. I have learned so much about the craft of writing and I am finally doing what my heart desires."

- Dorothy Anderson

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions you may have about the course:

Q: How/when will I get my lessons?

A: The course will begin on June 4th. On that date, you will be given a password to a private course Web page where you can access the lessons and course materials for the first week. You'll be notified by email when new lessons have been posted.

Q: I don't know if I'll have enough time in June. Can I complete the course later?

A: Although the course officially starts on June 4th, you can complete the lessons any time in the next 6 months.

Q: I live outside the U.S. Can I complete the course from my country?

A: Yes. Since the course is taught online, you can complete it from anywhere in the world.

Q: Is the course just for writing fiction, or is it also for writing poetry, articles, blog posts, essays, etc.?

A: The course is focused on fiction. If you're not interested in writing stories or novels, then parts of the course may not be as relevant to you.

Q: What if I don't understand something in one of the lessons?

A: No worries. You can email us, and a teacher will answer your questions about the course.

Q: How soon do I have to decide?

A: We are limiting the number of students in this course, and we expect the spots to fill up fast. If you're interested, it's better to sign up now.

Q: What if my question was not answered here?

A: Please just send us an e-mail, and we'll be delighted to answer all your questions.


 

"You’re alive. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything." — Neil Gaimon

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Thank you, Kendra. Since, at the outset, this appears to be an article rather than a promo for a course, it might be better next time you share something like this, to just share a few words and the link. ;)

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Actually, I thought it wouldn't share because of the length. I was going to put the link into the discussion when I saw the WHOLE THING was there. My bad.

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Oh, it's okay. But the way I mentioned gives others a better feel for what it is. So no problem. :D

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I tried the violin for a couple of years. And while I like the music a violin makes, I couldn't make myself get very far in my lessons. *shrugs*

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