The Writer's Journey: Weekly & 1-Day Workshops for New and Established Writers
I have met many [people] who think they can’t be writers because their lives aren’t interesting enough to write about. This is simply untrue. Everyone’s life is mysterious, beautiful, stunning magic. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in the same town your whole life or traveled around the world seven times. What matters is your ability to open up to the breathtaking and spectacular adventure that happens to be your life. Your job is to experience it, see it, feel it, live it, and write it down.
Many of us hold a deep dream of wanting to write. We want to write so we can understand ourselves more deeply and so that we can be seen. We sense that there are stories living inside of us that need to be told, but in our busy lives, we have not been able to create the time, space or circumstances in which to do so.
The Writer’s Journey will give you that time. In our safe, supportive circle, you will find the permission, encouragement, and skills you need to explore the voices in your heart and tell the truth about your life.
Laura teaches two different kinds of weekly classes, both described below.
Ongoing Writing Practice Class:
Wednesdays, 9:30 AM-12:30
Pacific Cultural Center, Santa Cruz
This ongoing class is for students who want to use writing as a way to express themselves, explore their deepening creativity, grow as human beings and as writers, and strengthen their relationship with their own unique writing voice. Drop-ins are not allowed because they interfere with the intimacy and trust essential to a successful writing group.
The Wednesday morning class is not a critique group in which we polish finished pieces. Rather, it is a workshop in which we use class time to create new material. We alternate periods of writing with learning to listen to each other—not from a place of judgment or analysis—but from a place of focused attention and deep acceptance.
The Writer’s Journey is rooted in writing practice, as developed by Natalie Goldberg in her classic books, Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, and is enhanced by my sixteen years as a successful author, book doctor, group facilitator, and writing coach.
When I first met Laura Davis, I was still a fledgling writer. I knew how to tell a story, but I had a difficult time connecting with my work emotionally. After a week of writing practice with Laura and Natalie Goldberg, my work deepened far beyond anything I ever expected. Since that time, I’ve continued to work with Laura. Her teaching style is open and inspirational. She’s been instrumental in helping me bring my characters to life. I highly recommend her to anyone looking to improve their writing and deepen their emotional connection with their work.
--Larry Snow, currently completing a novel, A Nearling’s Story
The writing practice class can help you:
- Discover the deep essence of writing
- Explore the unique nature of your own voice
- Develop a writing practice that frees your creativity and connects you to your wild mind
- Use original detail and first thoughts to make your writing come alive
- Take greater risks in your writing
- Overcome writer’s block and the fear that you don’t have what it takes to write
- Use the transformative power of writing to move through life’s challenges
- Become part of a supportive community of peers that is committed to writing and listening together
During our weekly sessions, we'll write together and share our writing. I bring writing suggestions, prompts, excerpts from great literature, guided meditations and other exercises designed to keep the channel from your heart to your head to your pen open. If I give a suggestion and it doesn’t resonate with you, you are free to ignore it and write about whatever you choose. And it’s also fine to attend if you have subject matter you’re already exploring.
This class is appropriate for people who write to know themselves better, who have stories they want to tell, or who want to use writing as a daily discipline or practice. Both aspiring and published writers benefit from the honesty and intimacy of our meetings. Many choose to continue well beyond their first session.
What is most compelling to me about Laura’s work is the wonderful balance she conveys, both in person and in her writing, between being both a teacher and an active, ongoing learner. She is completely credible as she shares both her own and others’ stories for the benefit of mutual learning. This is a relief from the more ‘expert’ point of view, which has a way of making me feel small and disengaged.
--Kerry Messer, workshop participant, Oakland, California
Students make an ongoing commitment to these classes, paying $500.00 for eight weeks of classes. Ongoing writing practice classes meet for three hours per week, usually from September through May or June. Students are expected to give a month's notice before leaving the group.
Fall 2019 Schedule for the Wednesday Morning Class:
November 13, 20
December 4, 11, 18
January: 8, 15, 29 (Laura’s going on personal retreat on the 22nd)
February: 5, 12, 19, 26
March: 4, 11, 18, 25
April: 1, 8, 15, 29 (No class on the 22nd. I’ll be teaching at Esalen)
May: 6, 13, 20, 27
June: 3 only
To register for the Wednesday morning writing practice class, download the form, print it out, and mail it to address on the form.
Feedback of Writing Projects of Your Choice
The Thursday feedback classes are designed for students who want to make progress on a focused project of their choice. It is designed for students who are already engaged in working of a narrative project of their own: a memoir, a collection of family history, essays, a novel, short stories.
Each week, the writers in Laura's feedback classes sign up to get the suggestions and support from the group, whose role is to respond to the writing with editing and encouragement, to hold "each other's feet to the fire," and to help everyone in the group reach their personal writing goals.
Ira Progroff calls writing, "this solitary work we cannot do alone." These classes provide the support necessary to persevere in creative work.
Students wanting to join one of these classes must have a personal consultation with Laura to discuss their project and their writing goals. Prior writing practice experience strongly recommended. The cost of the feedback class is $500.00 for eight weeks of classes. Your intention should be to find a long-term home to support your writing aspirations.
Admissions are on a rolling basis as spaces become available. Contact Laura to ask about openings and to agree on a start date.
Thursdays, 9:30 AM-noon or 12:30 (weekly)
Thursdays, 6:00-9:30 PM (weekly)
These are two separate classes. They meet at two separate locations, both on the west side of Santa Cruz.
Fall 2019 class dates are as follows:
November 14, 21
December 5, 12, 19
January: 9, 16, 30 Laura’s going on personal retreat on the 23rd)
February: 6, 13, 20, 27
March: 5, 12, 19, 26
April: 2, 9, 16, 30 (No class on the 23rd. I’ll be teaching at Esalen)
May: 7, 14, 21, 28
June: 4 only
Admissions are on a rolling basis as spaces become available.
If you're interested in joining one of Laura's feedback classes, email her here so you can set up a time for conversation about your writing goals.
You can also contact Laura directly and she will register you directly over the phone.
Please contact Laura with any questions or concerns.
This is the moment. Write. No matter what. Write. Don’t try to name it in advance, don’t call it play, or journal writing, or poem. Don’t ask it to have a form, or to be spelled correctly, or to appear in sentences. But write in pen so that you can’t erase it, and promise, as a way of showing respect, that it will not be thrown away.
For information on Laura's writing retreats click here.