Writing doesn't have to be so hard.
Hi, I'm Alex.
I provide creative coaching for reluctant writers. Whether you're a beginner or a veteran wordsmith, blossoming or blocked and burnt out, I'd love to work with you to help make your writing practice both fun and fruitful.
If you're curious, here's what I'm up to now.
Photographic evidence of amusement.
Reasons to work/play with me:
Make it STRONG.
But. But how am I going to learn if no one tells me what I’m doing wrong??? Question for you: Do you toss a seedling into a thunderstorm? For my non-gardeners, the answer is NO. FIAN Gateless Writing salons are for developmental writing. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation for right now. Write first, edit later. Our goal is to get thoughts and ideas onto the page. Bring your tired, your plot holed, your wild streams-of-consciousness. Noticing what is strong in others’ writing, makes ours stronger. You’ll pick up new techniques and tools from me and your fellow writers. And you’ll be surprised at how much great writing gets done when you're in kind company, calming the critic within, and letting your genius flow.
Make it FUN.
Writing can be lonely, challenging work. Seems easy—all we have to do is sit in front of a keyboard, right? I'm here for the times when Hemingway's old adage starts to feel all too true: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Fun is a necessity has been my happy-go-lucky seeming motto for years, but it has a grit to it. Life places some extreme demands on our time, energy, and emotions. We need pockets of fun to give us hope that even if good times aren't present, they are possible. Fun, and the play that elicits it, are essential. When play-theorist Brian Sutton-Smith said, “The opposite of play is not work—the opposite of play is depression.”
he wasn't kidding around. And for someone who has experienced all three (and 0/10 wouldn't recommend the third), I deeply enjoy getting to facilitate playdates for my writerly friends.
Make it HAPPEN.
If you’re a writer, you likely come up with a million ideas you want to incorporate in your projects. In the shower, while you make coffee, and, inconveniently, right before you go to sleep at night. But do you consistently find time to turn them into poems, articles, and stories? Yeah, me neither. It often takes structure to make serious writing happen. Sometimes we can build our own structure, but sometimes we can’t. When you can't make your own discipline, store bought is FINE. Quit trying to make scratch lasagna on a school night. Gateless Salons are the writer's meal kit. Everything you need for success, perfectly portioned out, and you still get to be proud at the end as you sit around the table, admiring your creation. Why do we convince ourselves that as writers that all our words have from hours alone behind a desk, trying not to smear your snacks on the keyboard. (I see you.) Clear a corner of your desk (or just head to the couch), put on your most presentable pajamas, and come write in community. You’ll be accountable to a group. Unlike your pen jar, we will miss you if you don't show. No criticism, no questions, no red pen, just a hospitable haven for getting those precious coffee-hour ideas onto the page.
Below you'll find some recent-ish writing of mine (and here you'll find even more), featuring thoughts and stories tangentially related to everything from technology to teaching to tarantulas. Opinions recorded therein were held with conviction at the time of writing and are subject to change on a whim.