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Off Campus Writers' Workshop - OCWW

Diana Goetsch - ACTUALLY WRITING: The Outer, Inner, and Secret Practice

  • November 02, 2023
  • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Registration is closed

The barriers to becoming a successful writer can be formidable and elusive. Even among those blessed with talent and enthusiasm, very few become productive artists who write and publish book after book. Some spend years trying to “find their voice”—as though it were buried treasure—or waiting for a teacher or editor to anoint them. Many run aground after sailing through an MFA program. This craft session will be a clarifying inquiry into what it would take for anyone to actually write. While the artistic journey is unique for each individual, the fundamental conditions and practices aren’t. Specifically, there are three practices—which can be called “outer,” “inner,” and “secret”—all of which need to be in place if any writer is to succeed. 

Diana will lay out each of these practices, offering illustrations and examples. There will be time for discussion, Q&A, and reflection. For each practice, participants will assess where they are, and where they may need to get to. Nobody can promise success; this is at least an opportunity to demystify the path, get real with yourself, and get going.

Diana Goetsch is a poet and nonfiction writer, author of eight collections of poems, the “Life in Transition” blog at The American Scholar, and the acclaimed memoir, This Body I Wore. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, The Iowa Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Best American Poetry, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the New School, where she served as the Grace Paley Teaching Fellow. Goetsch has been on faculty for twenty-one years at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and online at Paragraph Workspace where students from five continents have attended her webinars.

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