Instructor: Alex Leviton
Dates: April 21, 2020
Duration: four weeks
“Writing is easy. You just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”— Red Smith
Not quite ready to tackle the journalism or literary worlds like nature’s most ferocious animal? Start here instead, learning how to nurture your voice and imagination with renowned creativity coach Alex Leviton!
This class doesn’t teach writing, it teaches getting rid of the barriers that hold us back from writing. Open to all levels of writers and creatives, the class is like KonMari for people looking to spark joy and ignite — or re-ignite — their innovative mojo.
We’ll work together, step by confidence-building step, to better tune into that part of your brain where imagination and inspiration flow. You’ll devise your own Creativity Manual to learn how your talent best operates, which you’ll build upon in each of the four sessions… and for the rest of your life!
The manual and accompanying exercises come straight from Alex Leviton’s creativity coaching and workshops. Co-author of more than 30 books and a former Editorial Director, she now teaches writers how to remove the barriers to their creative genius. Alex borrows from improv and comedy, trauma studies (see the above quote), psychology, mathematics, Quantified Self methodology, and a bit of neuroscience. She’s taught her unique and playful process all over the world, including leading Win a Week with a Lonely Planet Author sessions in Shanghai and Marrakech.
If you feel like your creative fire could be even 2.2% more sparky, Write Like a Baby Panda is for you. The workshop is suitable for veteran authors who feel stuck, nascent and emerging voices craving a little more confidence, and anyone who would like to start their lifelong Creativity Manual, regardless of their discipline.
Who this class is not for: those who would like to be less creative or inventive.
WRITE LIKE A BABY PANDA CURRICULUM
Week One: Set up the Scaffolding
We’ll talk prompts and take the first step towards building your Creativity Ladder. When do you feel the most inspired? What fascinates you? What are your five words? (We’ll explain in class.) Assignment: Start your with assigned brainstorms, lists, and prompts.
Week Two: Build Your Walls
To quiet the creativity Cerberus (writer’s block, self-doubt, uncertainty), authors need to build very specific kinds of walls that protect our imagination without stifling it. We’ll expose the Inner Critic and what it gives/doesn’t give us, and we’ll learn how to bypass the demon dog. Assignment: Continue lists and Creativity Ladder exercises. Create a persona for your Inner Critic.
Week Three: Pour the Concrete
Haven’t written a blog in seven months? Positive your writing is the absolute worst? Not sure what to pitch? Alex will work with each student on how to climb their ladder (and how to accept when your brain needs a breather). Assignment: One concrete first step towards beating your unique barriers. Continue with Creativity Manual exercises.
Week Four: Your Creativity House
The foundation is set! You have at least a dozen completed exercises in your Creativity Manual, you’re on a first-name basis with your Inner Critic, and you’ve taken one concrete step. What’s step two? Step three? Assignment: Mapping your next moves. Several longer Creativity Manual exercises (including a check-in and deadline with Alex six weeks ).
- Wired to Create by Carolyn Gregoire and Scott Barry Kaufman
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- Wired for Story by Lisa Cron
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Explore Every Day by Alex Leviton 🙂
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the course suitable for experienced writers?
Absolutely! Alex has taught this methodology to absolutely every type of writer from CEOs and beginning bloggers to New York Times contributors and professionals who don’t speak English as a native language. After 20 years in the biz, she still gets tripped up by barriers occasionally. So she feels your pain, but also knows the cure!
Can unpublished or emerging writers benefit from this workshop? Yeppers! Alex doesn’t teach writing; she teaches getting rid of the barriers that hold you back. Her goal is to meet creatives and creatives-to-be where they are, so a 30-year veteran, an emerging freelancer, and an aspiring dreamer will get the same benefits.
How much time does it take?
Each week’s assignments will take 1-2 hours: mostly lists, prompts, and exercises to build up your Creativity Manual. The only traditional writing assignment is in the third week, and after the fourth and final week, you’ll have a six-week deadline to let Alex know you’ve completed the last class’s assignments (no need to hand them in; oh, she’ll know…).
Would this class help a writer who’s not sure they want to publish? You don’t even have to share some of the first foundational exercises with the rest of the class (just what they opened up for you). Write Like a Baby Panda’s goal is to build you up to honey badgering! Yaaas!
Are the assignments flexible?
Yup. Your Creativity Manual is for you to keep forever and ever. Some students add 100 items to their lists or find they want more exercises, which Alex can provide. Others write five items on a list, and find that’s plenty. Grading is very important in this class, but it’s all about students grading themselves on how far they’ve climbed up their own ladders.
What if I have another question?
Please ask us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.