As I continue building and rebranding my writing practice, I’m also educating myself about teaching on-line. I love teaching, but I don’t love to drive, and where I live, teaching gigs all start with starting the car. So I decided to see if offering an on-line class is for me.
I started by seeing what’s available and how it’s done. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot out there – more than I have the temperament to explore. That alone should have been a clue.
Mostly, I tried the free, introductory samples, including a webinar about how to increase my earnings ten-fold. I even signed up for the follow-up phone call, but cancelled before it occurred. Money for its own sake doesn’t motivate me. This is a good thing to know.
I did find the introduction to Joan Dempsey’s Literary Living helpful, and I wrote about it here. I still use the Narrate-Affirm-Meditate-Single Task exercises almost every morning I sit down at my desk, combined with Morning Pages, which I learned from Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way.
Dempsey is now offering, Improve Your Writing, a course that covers much the same material I teach.
Finally, I did sign up for Tsh Oxenreider’s on-line course, the Upsteam Field Guide, because it wasn’t a huge financial investment ($59), because the subject matter interested me, and because there was no time limit on finishing the course.
I’ve already fallen terribly behind.
As impressed as I am by the format and materials, I’m disappointed by the content. For one, by Oxenreider’s definition, I’m already “living upstream,” following my life’s passion, which is to write. For another, I’m way older than her target demographic, and while I like the accumulated experience and wisdom I’ve garnered with age, I don’t like being reminded that I’m older than most of the people on the planet.
And then, there’s the matter of the two writing groups I do attend: One is run by the incomparable Suzanne Kingsbury, who fosters creativity; the other is self-directed, with neighbors. In both groups, I get something I can’t get on-line: real time, in-the-flesh human contact. And wine.
What all this teaches me is that I’m still old school, and I’m okay with that. So I won’t be offering on-line courses any time soon. I do, however, continue to offer one-on-one editing services, which is as much a private tutorial in craft as it is a close reading of the work. For now, that’s enough.