Thanks everyone for the quick feedback on my two ideas for online writing workshops!
I just did some thinking and calculating about the prep time and reading time that it would take me to really do this. And guess what — I think I initially lowballed myself.
The Book Proposal Master Class would definitely be more time in terms of reading and providing individual feedback, so I’m thinking that would end up being about $400 for the 8-week course. That still seems reasonable compared to other US-based writing classes — a lot of people charge that for just a weekend — and presumably you would eventually reap a return on that investment when your book sells. What do you think?
For Writing From the Chakras, I think could stay affordable at around $25 a class, which adds up to $200 for 8 weeks. I would want people to commit to the whole course, but with a payment plan option, since a couple of people said paying class-by-class would be easier than coming up with a big amount up front. I hope that’s still in the ballpark for people who wanted that one? Or is that just too much?
I think I need to write up a better description of that one, too. It has a New Age woo-woo feel to it, which totally works for some of us, but it’s also a super practical approach that lets me tap into different levels of writing. It’s about developing skills to write everything from a high-impact fight scene for your action movie screenplay (root chakra! survival!), to a moment of epiphany in your subtle and elegant short story (crown chakra all the way!). I can see people writing everything from ancestral memory to science fiction in this class.
Also to clarify — I don’t think I’d prescribe any *particular* physical practice for the Chakras class. Rather, I’d offer a range of suggestions for ways to experience the energies of the physical/metaphysical body and tap into that. Some of those might be about things to try in the context of your own yoga or other physical practice, IF that’s something you want to try, but it wouldn’t be a requirement.
I’m still thinking about some of the other things people are asking. How will it work? Which online platform will I use? Hmm, great questions!
I think most of the work would happen via an email from me and individual assignments being turned in / shared back. That way you can work in your own time zone without being tied to a particular time of day. But probably a “live” session at least once in a while would also be helpful and important.
So friends, help me here — have you taken online classes before, if so what combo of technologies worked best, how did it end up feeling? Anyone got an inside scoop on hot new tech tools for this kind of thing?
Mary Anne showed me what Google Plus looks like, and the “hangout” function does seem like it would be cool for a writing discussion. But I’m wary of Google’s nonconsensual record on privacy and its issue about people having to use their real names.
Skype has a videoconference function that apparently works well, with a text chat sidebar for people whose connections are too slow or who don’t want to video. That might be good.
And even Facebook now has a group chat function (text only). If you’re already on Facebook, maybe that’s easiest? Or would it be too distracting, since the rest of your Facebook would also be active at the same time?
Thoughts, ideas, feedback?
Anyway thanks everyone for the enthusiasm and interest! My brain is now brimming with fun writing exercises and curriculum ideas for both classes. I think I’ll work on the course descriptions and throw them up in the next few days.