October is here. I am happy to update you on some of the upcoming local writing classes (for those of you in the Sarasota, Florida area) and other opportunities for writers and other creatives.

My grandfather turns 90 this week. He always says, “I never imagined I’d live to be this old,” any time someone comments on his health and vitality.

But time does fly; we get easily sidetracked and caught up in so many things, and suddenly we find ourselves on the other end of a year, a decade, a lifetime. I get a little antsy this time of year. I always set myself up for a bit of failure: my creative impulse is always to want to do more than I get done in a given year. But, it’s better to dream big than to be limited by a lack of vision.

At the same time, I have to be realistic and cut myself a little slack. I don’t want to make endless excuses, but I don’t want to be to harsh on myself either. Finding a middle way, between harsh self-judgement and laziness isn’t always easy. I’ve been trying to keep a recently-discovered (for me) saying in mind: I am not enslaved by the work, but I will not abandon the work.

Local Writing Classes Update

The Reading as a Writer (RAW) series officially resumes on October 12 with the six-week course, RAW: Alain de Botton. I’m really excited for this course. (And it is officially a “go”! If you’ve been waiting to join this local writing class, now is the time. I’d love to have a few more students to make the discussion even more lively!)

De Botton’s writing is varied and different and unique. (Check his info out on Amazon.) The two main books (On Love and The Course of Love) are a rich blend of philosophy, sociology, and fiction. The supplementary material (from How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Art of Travel) will help us see how an author’s “other interests” can inform their fiction writing. (And vice versa.)

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, these RAW classes are an intriguing, deep-dive, deconstruction of literature that will make you a better, more-aware reader. You’ll get a little peek “behind the curtain” to see what makes a good book work.

If you haven’t signed up, there are a few spots remaining. (You can also sign up for the first RAW: Mini course, the upcoming revision and editing workshop, and other local writing classes at my website. The full list is here.)

Florida Wild Writers Retreat

The next Florida Wild Writers Retreat will be in November. These retreats are always a lot of fun. Retreat days are packed with exercises, talks, and lots of great discussion to help fuel your creative endeavors. The November retreat will be focused on Character: How do we develop character in our fiction and reveal characters in our non-fiction? And, how do we develop a sense of “voice” in our writing (which helps reveal the character of the author)? Good stories revolve around intriguing characters. Friday, November 11, from 10am to 3pm. (Lunch provided!)

If you’ve been wanting a fun, creative, engaging, and meaningful day, sign up here.

Speaking: Sarasota Author’s Connection

I will be speaking at the upcoming meeting of the Sarasota Author’s Connection. My topic will be: Making the Most of Your Writing Efforts. They meet at the Fruitville Library (on the corner of Fruitville and Coburn Rd) Monday, October 17, at 6PM.

Sarasota Author’s Connection is a group of authors helping other authors learn more about craft, promotion, and publishing options. If you’d like to receive the newsletter from SAC, you can email the newsletter editor, Barry Zack at barryzed@gmail.com.

If you can’t make it to any of the upcoming local writing classes or other local events (I know, I know: some of you live far, far away!) you can still contact me and we can address your creative needs in a variety of ways. In fact, I just took on my very first international client, so those of you in the US don’t have an excuse!

Editing, book development, publishing options, direct instruction in writing, creativity coaching…we can find a way to help you get closer to your writing or creative goals! Your words matter, and I want to help you tell more of your stories.

Feel free to email me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Words Matter: Upcoming Local Writing Classes, Retreats, and More!