I have been helping writers find their authentic voice. Four hours a day, every day, four years straight. Here is why I have compressed this knowledge into short, easy to understand and practical 21-day course. And what next?
At the beginning my process was chaotic. I was helping one or two writers per day at a time. It was no big deal. With time it got big. And I got stressed. I had a process. It’s tailored to help you ask the right kind of question for each piece of your writing. But I had to find a way to calm the chaos I have created.
I knew I had to turn the process into a course. I knew it would be delivered through email. To give room for a writer to ponder. And to encourage one on one conversations. I knew the course had to be tailored based on the growth. A writer who is struggling to learn a few tactics. Doesn’t resemble a writer who is yet to know how to let her personality shine. And how to write useful things. I knew to tailor anything for someone it starts with answering questions. I knew for any growth to happen there must be room for people to resist. So I had to learn patience. I knew for it to be anything it will need to be tested, reused, and refined.
What I didn’t know How long will it take? How do I deliver the course in a way that connects? How do I launch and ask for money?
How long will it take? With the thousands of writers who have gone through the process. It took four years to retest, reuse, and repackage.
How do I deliver the course in a way that connects? I wanted the delivery to encourage one on one conversations. Email still works for this specific intent.
How do I invite others in, and ask for money? Now this was hard. I knew knowledge alone is not enough. And a course is knowledge. Connected knowledge is powerful. Disconnected is weak Knowledge gives you tools, nails, and materials necessary for a house. As a builder, you need to do the work to connect. And to turn those tools, nails, and all materials into a home. I ended up deciding to make the course and released the course for free. Saying here is what you need to know to take your writing to the next level. As a trained builder. You can get to work and connect. When you want someone to help you, to put this into practice. I’m here; this is how much is going to cost you.
Now the question become, what do I want writers to pay me money for? I got help by asking myself. What requisites of spectacular writing are? Usefulness, a dash of personality, and a little bit of tactic. There are smart people than me who address writing tactics better than I can. I don’t need to charge for this. Copyblogger does well-addressing writing tactics. I learn from them. The course you’re still a part of gives you enough ammunition to judge the usefulness of your writing. What I can help you and have been helping is how to add a dash of personality in your writing. Then the question becomes.
How much is it going to cost you? You pay $100 once. No recurring fees. I’m charging this one-time payment reason being. In all these years I have been doing this — I have seen writers grow out of this process. They master it. And they move on. And that’s why I don’t see a need for charging more. Or charging recurring.
Clarifying the learning process. Year one I thought maybe a year is enough. Year two I thought maybe six to three months. Year three I assumed some writers are quick learners some are not. So it depends on the type of writer is in the process. In this year four, I have come to terms with the realization. It takes as long as it needs to take.
Are you ready? When you click the payment link. It sends you to a PayPal page where you can process the transaction and get started.
What happens after I pay? I receive a notification of your payment. I send to you an email that invites you to send me your first writing piece that you want us to work on together. You send me that piece of writing. And I take it from there. Is there a limit on stories I help you with? No limit. Send one at a time. How long does it take for one story from start to finish? It takes long as it needs to take. How are we going to be communicating together? Through email. Can I come back after some time? Yes. Come back. Whenever you want after a month, a year, or ten years. No extra charge. I don’t put a limit on time.
English is my third language, and I’ve worked hard to become fluent in it. I take pride in using precise words. However, I lost sight of the fact that those words may not be widely known, especially by audiences outside of my domain or around the world. Do I want to relate to a few people who share my world, or to a greater number outside of it? You shed light for me on this.
The second thing I learned is that story-telling is about sharing, not instructing. It seems so obvious, but I admit the point had been lost on me. When I wrote some of my initial posts. I struggle with the tone of them. But your perspective on writing as if I were telling a story to a dear friend was very helpful, and it’ll certainly define my voice in the future.
And finally, I must admit. I questioned your authority on editing. But I was so taken by your genuine interest in improving the story that it got past my initial reaction and listened to what you had to say. You very much had a point, and I was grateful you didn’t just “give up” on me when I resisted your feedback. So, please allow your students the space to resist but open the door for them to come back when they’re ready; some of them surely will.