Feel great about your writing!

Let Mike and Cary solve all your problems

Well, not all your problems. Just the ones about writing. Just the ones that drive you crazy and keep you up at night and sometimes make you feel like a loser.

We don’t want you to feel like a loser. We want you to be happy with your writing. We want you to have success.

So here is our proposition: Come to beautiful Monterey, California, November 13-17, 2013, consult with us daily, discuss your dreams and your challenges, hear our practical, individualized solutions, try them out, and if you’re not completely satisfied,

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we’ll eat our hats.

We’re willing to take that risk. After all, being a writer means taking risks.

All writers face two kinds of challenges.

Some challenges are internal and have to do with managing your own emotions and motivations and practice of writing. Others are external and have to do with understanding readers and literary tradition and publishing systems and the business. Each requires a different problem-solving approach.

I specialize in internal challenges.

This has grown out of my 12 years writing the Since You Asked advice column for Salon.com. I seem to have a knack for figuring out what’s going on with somebody and helping them change.

But no one writes in a vacuum.

All writing is read and understood within a tradition, and makes its way to readers through some publishing medium. That is where Mike’s expertise comes in.

Who is Mike?

This is who Mike is.

This is what Mike does.

This is the kind of thing that Mike knows:

Never start your novel in a car.

Why not? It’s just one of many inscrutable facts about publishing that only an insider like Mike could tell you. In fact, he had to tell me.

Together, we solve problems.

Mike and I will look at your manuscript and your situation and will propose changes, depending on what your goal for the work is. You can make those changes or not. Just thinking about them will be useful. Just defining your goal well enough to express it to us will be useful. If that’s all you do, it will be worth it.

So Mike and I suggest you fill out the Monterey Writers Retreat application form as a first step to clarifying your interests and goals. As you can see, its drop-down menu lists areas of interest as Inspiration and Creativity and Creative Writing in General as well as the expected genres of poetry, short fiction, the novel and the memoir.

Goals differ. Situations differ. Many writers have difficulty finding time to write. We can help with that. Or perhaps there is a plot point in your novel that you haven’t quite figured out yet. Or maybe a character is doing something that you’re not sure is right for that character. We can help you with that. You will have time while in Monterey to try our ideas out and see how they work.

Get my free outline PDF

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This free document, the Writer’s Problem-Solving Outline.pdf, shows the kind of problem-solving approach we will take in our individual sessions. The outline is free and  is useful whether you attend the workshop or not.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Ready to do something?

Why not

Arrow - Purplesign up now while you’re looking at this.

Because once you move on to the next thing, your attention will be taken up and though you intend to come back, you may miss your chance.

Do it before the impulse FADES

Your desire to write is a good impulse. But impulses are fragile and can fade. Also, they can be tarnished or extinguished by the negative statements of others, and by your own fears and negative thoughts. So if you are interested in this, if you want this, go ahead! Nurture your creative side: Bet on yourself!

OK, still not sure?

How about this: Just fill out the application, and make a reservation at The Lighthouse. That way, you don’t lose your chance, but you can always cancel out up to three days before the retreat begins.
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p.s. If this sounds overly simplistic, well, in a way, it is.  The actual enterprise of writing, whether for yourself or for the world, is enormously complex. But first you have to get in the chair. What happens in that chair is amazing and irreduceable to simple phrases but if you can’t get in the chair, none of the rest can happen. So I like to concentrate on the things we can actually change. I like to help people get in the chair.–ct