Fearless Finishing

A Six-Week Course to Revisit, Revive and Revise Your Unfinished Drafts | taught by Lauren Carter

Course description

Dec 14: This course is now full! If you'd like to be notified when I open the next version, please drop me a line at lauren@laurencarter.ca 

“Unwritten books and poems mattered to me when I was growing up; there was a melancholy sense of what was never achieved [by my mother]…” - Colm Tóibín 

Do you have unfinished manuscripts abandoned in your cupboards and fattening your filing cabinet? Do you have an ongoing work-in-progress that you just can't seem to get done? 

Many writers do, but if you never finish what you start, you can't share your work with a wider audience, enjoy the fulfillment of seeing your words in print, and move on with excitement and optimism to your next creative explorations. 

Together, in this live video conferencing course (starting Jan 14th), I will help you move past whatever's getting in your way so you can start writing 'the end', hitting the send button on writing submissions and finally get ahead in your writing life.

In Fearless Finishing you will:

  • Commit to a writing project… so you can clearly state to yourself and others that your writing is important and usher in the resulting resolve
  • Set goals for stages of completion… so you know exactly what you have to do and can recognize that your project doesn’t have to be as overwhelming
  • Receive a one-on-one coaching session... so we can focus on your specific struggles and make a plan as to the best way for you to proceed
  • Acknowledge and address anxieties often inherent in this stage of the creative process… so you can begin getting out of your own way and do the work
  • Understand how to read your draft beyond quick, fear-based judgements of ‘good’ and ‘bad’… so you can study your work-in-progress with useful attention and figure out exactly what it needs
  • Experiment and play with several revision techniques… so you’ll have a toolbox to help you open up your work and make deeper, more meaningful improvements 
  • Learn how to be discerning about critique partners/groups.... so you won’t ever be led astray again by inexperienced advice
  • Figure out when outside help is needed (further education or an editor)... so you'll understand your roadblocks and how to navigate around them
  • Engage with a manageable community of other writers… so you’ll receive lots of support and have accountability to help you meet your goals

What else will you get?

  • A bonus lesson before we even officially begin so you can set yourself up for success
  • A one-on-one coaching session to talk specifically about your biggest challenges 
  • Discounted additional individual coaching sessions so you can learn more deeply what's getting in your way and what to do about it
  • A discount on my self-directed practice-building course Nine Simple Steps to A Solid Writing Practice 
  • A private Facebook group in which to share homework assignments, writing questions and perspectives, resources, successes and challenges with your classmates and with me
  • A dedicated email 'hotline' with answers to your pressing challenges within 24 hours 
  • Recorded weekly lessons
  • All of this at a reduced price (this is a pilot course, offered at considerably less than the next version will be because it'll be a bit rough around the edges and I'lI expect lots of feedback!)
  • Refund Policy: Life happens, I know, so if limiting circumstances arise or you decide after the first bonus lesson that this course isn't for you, you can opt out by January 3rd and receive a full refund. (Keep in mind, though, that commitments to our own meaningful work can be scary, so you might want to chat with me first). 

"Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” - Neil Gaiman 

How does it work?

Who?

This course will have the best result for people who struggle to move beyond (in general, or with a certain project), what Alice LaPlante calls the ‘constructive revisioning stage’ (drafts 2 through 20+) when “the piece has solidified, and can now be examined, and critiqued, as a whole piece, rather than as something that is still under primary construction” (from The Making of a Story). 

Writers can be working in any genre of creative writing (fiction, creative non-fiction, personal essay, poetry, and playwriting).

I can't promise that you will fully finish your draft (you might - it depends on how hard you work!) but I can guarantee that you will walk away with much more awareness of what's stopping you and how to get around it (including perfectionism, self-doubt, anxiety) and technical skills for moving your drafts into advanced stages.  

The course is capped at 10 participants so that I can offer a high level of personal support!

Where?

We will meet on Sundays via easy-to-use ZOOM video-conferencing, accessed through a link I will provide. If you have to miss the meeting, recordings will be provided.

Readings, assignments, and resources will be shared through the course site and on Facebook.

When?

Starting on Sunday, January 14th, it will run for six weeks, with live video conferenceing meetings from 12 noon to 1:30 pm, Central Time (Winnipeg).  

Enrolment for the course closes on December 14, 2017. 

The course will open on December 21, 2017, with a bonus lesson so you can prepare deeply to set yourself up for success!

How much?

When I move forward with my full course later next year, the price will be $497, but the cost right now for my small group of pilot students is $268 (CDN).

Why?

Unfinished novels were the name-of-the-game in my writing youth. Once, a big Toronto agent asked to see a novel, if I had one, after reading some of my unpublished short stories shared with her by a writing course instructor. 

Did I knuckle down to complete one of my (three or four) unfinished novel drafts? 

Nope. 

That chance slipped through my fingers and it would be years before I figured out to finish. 

I did, though. It was hard, and a multifaceted journey, but since doing that necessary work (which I'll teach you in this course) I've published two books, had work selected for anthologies like Best Canadian Stories, earned multiple arts grants, have had a book accepted for publication in 2019, and am right at this moment awaiting news about my second novel, which has been making the rounds of publishers through my agent, while setting goals for finishing this third (in sync with this course!) this winter. 

To learn more about my hard-earned expertise to teach this course, please read this blog post.

Will 2018 be the year that your writing life changes? 

Let me help you learn how to finish so you can finally, fearlessly start!

“It’s a question of finishing everything you start.” - Colm Tóibín

Interested in this course? Email us at lauren@laurencarter.ca

Lauren Carter
Lauren Carter
Writer and Writing Coach

Lauren Carter is the author of Swarm, a novel that was named one of the Top 40 books that could change Canada by the CBC and Lichen Bright, a collection of poetry. Her next poetry collection will be out in 2019 and her second novel is currently on submission to publishers through her agent. Her work has also appeared in Best Canadian Short Stories 2015  (edited by John Mecalf) and she has won or been long-listed for a variety of writing prizes, including the CBC literary awards. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, practices as a writing coach and has taught writing at the post-secondary level and in workshops from one end of North America to the other. Visit her at www.laurencarter.ca, where she blogs about her writing practice, coaching, and the general (often challenging) stuff of life and words in Manitoba, Canada.

Course Curriculum

Before We Begin: Opening December 21, 2017
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Week One: Sunday, Jan 14, 2018, 12 noon - 1:30 pm CST
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Week Two: Sunday, Jan 21, 2018, 12 noon - 1:30 pm CST
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Week Three: Sunday, Jan 28, 2018, 12 noon - 1:30 pm CST
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Week Four: Sunday, Feb 4, 2018, 12 noon - 1:30 pm CST
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Week Five: Sunday, Feb 11, 2018, 12 noon - 1:30 pm CST
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Week Six: Sunday, Feb 18, 2018, 12 noon - 1:30 pm CST
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Interested in this course? Email us at lauren@laurencarter.ca

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