Milli’s guidance, like Draino, will continue to unclog the clogs and we know she is there to help us.
— John Van Natta, Fear of Writing grad student, Tell City, IN
When you come to me applying to enroll in my course, I take that intention—your intention to be a writer—very seriously. Although you’re guaranteed to have fun with the writing in this course, it’s also a deeply meaningful thing. You want to be a writer.
In all my services to writers, I over-deliver on the level of caring and support I give. Too many times I’ve taken the student’s desire to be a writer more seriously than he or she does. I show up. I do everything I said I was going to do. I do everything I can to make it work. I don’t always get the same back from my students.
I know this is because they have fears that cause them to retreat into their caves and procrastinate—but if you really and truly want to be a writer, you can’t let that control you forever. Especially not when you have an expert holding your hand for every baby step. An expert who is available any time you need help (except, of course, when I’m sleeping. :~)
I started out in 2001 with the desire to provide a course that would help writers unleash their creative imaginations. A course that would put the fun back into writing. That was successful from day one. The eight-week curriculum has not changed in over a decade. Because it works.
What I’ve had to constantly work at is to observe where my students stumble as students
(not as writers—the writing itself is never the problem because we know how to unleash your imagination) and then provide ways for them to avoid stumbling. I’ve added a comprehensive enrollment and orientation process to help with that, and I’m constantly refining it. I’ve also added training on how and when to get help.
On that one point alone (not getting help when they need it) I’ve seen more students sink their own ships than anything you could care to name. Incredibly, it doesn’t matter how many times I offer help, or how friendly and accessible I let them know I am, people still shoot themselves in the foot on this one.
So now I’ve added a page to this site to let you know in advance what I expect from you. I expect you to be a good student. This does not mean the best creative writer on the planet. This means be a good student, so you can show up and get the writing done.
(Learning to write on a regular basis is part of what we’ll be showing you. It’s the only way to overcome your fears, improve your relationship with your own creativity and live the writing life, not just dream about it.)
You’ll be hearing the reasons that underlie our expectations as you go through enrollment and orientation, but here’s a summary of what I’ll be expecting from you:
That you respect and follow the curriculum as it’s laid out (no skipping around or looking ahead).
That you get help when you need it. By that I mean you initiate the contact to ask your course presenter for help. Please don’t leave it to us to be mind readers and then have to pry you out of your clam shell.
That you finish your assignments on time. If you can’t do that, use our extension policy to ask for an extension.
That you graduate on time, eight weeks from when you enrolled.
That you allow your course presenter to help you so you can clear the false mental voices out of the way often enough to have fun with the assignments. We are highly trained at this.
That you take your own writing dreams as seriously as I do.
If you’ve survived reading this page, and if you understand that I’m setting these boundaries to help ensure your success, then you’re a good candidate for this writing course.
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