story is a state of mind: sarah selecky’s delightful writing e-course

Screen grab from Story Is A State of Mind intro video.

Do you remember when I closed my blog to focus on writing short fiction? That was the beginning of 2011. For the first six months of this year, I wrote. A lot. Then I realized that I missed blogging and the yoga community so I started up IAYB again.

I’m still writing, and I’ve learned how to balance blogging with the more challenging practice of writing stories. Blogging is spontaneous and immediate, while writing fiction is a slower process, more reflective. With blogging, I can see the results immediately (either through comments, analytics or social sharing); with fiction, the results take longer to see. Publication can take years, rejection is inevitable. But the process is rewarding.

If I can write one good sentence, create one compelling character, I’m happy. If I can actually finish a story that I’ve started, I’m elated.

I wish that Sarah Selecky’s e-course, Story Is A State of Mind, had existed a year ago, as I started to flex my stagnant story writing muscles. But it’s never too late, so in the new year I’m going to work through the seven modules of the digital writing experience.

I couldn’t stop myself from poking around the virtual classroom, however. Sarah has created this course based on her years of teaching writing out of her living room, her Masters of Fine Arts experience, and of course, her own writing practice. Sarah is also a longtime yoga and meditation practitioner, so there are elements of mindfulness and self-awareness in the e-course. While there is a lot of attention placed on the nuts and bolts of writing (characters, plot, dialogue), Sarah also intends for the course to be a place for writers to work with their creative minds and rethink their relationship to writing.

The seven lessons include writing practices, readings, and video and audio tutorials on technique. You can design your own schedule and move through the course at your own pace. Based on my first impressions, the exercises are simple and inspiring, the audio is clear and motivating, and the reading list is amazing. Sarah has showcased some of the best writers in contemporary short fiction: George Saunders, Rick Moody, Zsuzsi Gartner, Lisa Moore, Don DeLillo, Amy Hempel. There is so much to learn from each of these writers, and from Sarah herself.

I can’t wait until the holidays are over and I can dive into Story Is A State of Mind. I’m excited to see how my writing and my worldview will expand with the practice. I might even blog about my experience.

Disclosure: I think that Story Is A State of Mind and Sarah Selecky are so wonderful that I’ve agreed to become an affiliate (and also generously received free access to the program from Sarah). If you click on the links in this blog post, decide for yourself that this program is for you, and purchase it for yourself, I’ll receive part of the profits. Amazing!

And in case you need more convincing that Sarah Selecky is the real deal, here is my recent interview with her:

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  1. totally in. i need exactly this kind of kick in the writing pants for 2012!

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