within: an online writing workshop about life under the corona


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“May you live in interesting times.”
~not a Chinese curse

Welp, this time under COVID-19 is certainly interesting, but whether or not it’s a curse depends on who you are, where you are, what you do, and what you have.

For some of us, this time is a quiet pause, while for others, it’s a screaming hot mess. It’s an opportunity for some, ruined others, and left many by the side of the road.

This is a time of plus or minus, unity or polarity, gain or loss … depending.

We’re all facing the same threat, and yet our response to that threat – and the extent to which we’re threatened – depends on geography, demography, and our place in the socio-economy.

It’s like Spring here on the plains of Montana, when I can see snow on the distant mountains even though it’s 80° where I stand. Folks up there are wearing snow boots while I’m down here in my sandals.

That’s true for all of us, everywhere, all the time: We live under the same sun and breathe the same air, but every person on our planet is having a different experience.

Which is why we need to share our stories.

The Real Story vs History

The official record is often written by a self-selected few who have something to prove or protect. In their hands, a true story is hollowed out, trimmed down, whitewashed, and diluted into something that isn’t entirely wrong but ain’t exactly quite right.

Without the heartfelt words in Twelve Years a Slave, Anne Frank’s diary, and many books like them, our knowledge of those times would be colorless outlines – a gallery of frames that don’t hold any pictures.

The thing is, we learn from textbooks with bare facts penned long after the fact, but we can write our own stories in wide, vivid brushstrokes as they happen.

We can express our experience with emotion during extraordinary times like these, while textbooks talk in dry tones of the few who made an impact and leave out the many who felt it.

That’s what makes you special. The story of your day-to-day is entirely unique, and you are the only one who can tell it – AND you are free to tell it without filters or limitations or an averaging by committee.

What you have to say isn’t the whole truth, but it is your truth, and it’s a valid, vital piece of our shared experience.

Which is why we need you to tell YOUR story.

For You, For Them, For Us

These are hard times. Or not. Depending.

And how well you’re managing this time (or not, depending) is important for you to know now and will be valuable to you later … and maybe to your family, your friends, and the rest of us, too.

For you, right now, writing about this time during this time can help you organize your thoughts, ease your mind, soothe your soul, and find your best way through it.

And later, you can look back on what you wrote and see the ways you’ve grown and changed and where you’re exactly the same – and maybe meet your true self at the crossroads of what you kept and what you let go of.

For your friends and family, now and later, your story can validate what they see and feel, or be a new lens for viewing the world, or offer clues for navigating their own uncertainties.

And for your community, your region, or the world? Now and later, your story + my story + their stories = The Broad Truth, a truth that’s as wide and high as my Montana sky, a truth that’s as important as it’s ever been.

Our assembled story is the opposite of mass media, yeh? The mainstream news is selective at best, biased at worst, and sensational at all times; it’s what a handful of people would have all the rest of us know…

But our collected stories? The details of what billions of people think and feel and see?

Where our stories align, overlap, and intersect lies a truth that belongs to all of us, a truth that’s only visible when all of us are looking at it, a truth that only exists when all of us dare to tell it.

Which is why we need you to tell THIS story.

a simple spiral sea shell

WITH·IN

your solo writing workshop about life under the Corona

What This Is About

Everyone everywhere was sent within by this coronavirus, in one way or another. Like it or not, ready or not, we were driven inside our communities, our homes, and ourselves.

Every one of us has spent months enclosed within some shell. But word about what’s going on inside – inside our communities, our families, our homes, our bodies, our minds, ourselves – has to come out.

That’s how we – as individuals, as families, as communities, as a collective, as a country – will heal, grow, survive, and thrive.

To help us get to the heart of things, I’ve assembled a collection of prompts along this theme to spark your writing, whether you’re keeping a diary, writing in your journal, authoring a book, or posting online.

Who I Am

crys wood

Hello! I’m Crys Wood, and I’ve been writing my story for years through journaling, blog posts, and letters read only by my Facebook Friends and patrons. I’ve written the words of a lifetime, one small story at a time.

My latest writing workshop brought together 70 new and experienced writers from 10 countries on 4 continents.

Like that workshop, this one won’t teach you how to write, but it will help prepare you to write and nudge you toward what to write about. There’s structure and method, but you’ll find that it’s a flexible container.

And I’m not one of those strict, know-it-all, authoritative, guru-pro instructors, by the way. Think of me as your silent guide on the side, gently steering the flow of your writing through questions, exercises, experiments, and prompts.

What You Get

One 50+ page PDF download that includes:

The Get Ready to Write guide. My 4 prep steps to set up or fine-tune the physical and mental spaces you use to write + my top tips for writing in your authentic voice and getting unstuck.

3 writing warm-ups. Short exercises to jumpstart a writing session or squeeze a bit of writing into a busy day.

10 writing prompts with 100+ questions. Each of the 10 one-word writing prompts includes at least 10 questions to help you uncover the truth – your truth – about our shared experience.

3 extra writing prompts with 20+ more questions. In case some of those prompts don’t click for you, I’ve included some extras.

A recommendation for where to share your writing from this workshop.

A blessing you can tailor to your situation.

A few extra bits you might find useful, including a recommended reading list and what’s in my creative toolbox.

Note: This is a solo workshop; there’s no accompanying Facebook group or online community.

How This Works

This workshop is 100% self-driven, so you can write from anywhere, at any time, and set your own pace.

This workshop is an instant download. After you sign up below, you’ll confirm your address, then get an email with the download link for the workshop. You can access it right away, and whenever you start writing is up to you.

What You Need

A valid email address and internet access, so you can get the link and download the workshop book.

A way to open PDF files, so you can read the workshop book (you probably already have an app for that, and I’ve included a link to download one in case you don’t).

An eagerness to explore your thoughts, beliefs, and experiences and write them down or type them up.

How Much It Costs

However much you want to pay for it. (Yes, really!)

No one amount that can accommodate our wide range of experiences, so this workshop doesn’t have a fixed price.

Instead, you pay what you can, and if you don’t have the resources to pay anything, then this workshop is a gift from me to you.

(And no, I’m not one of those super-wealthy benefactors who has millions to give away, but I have a safe home, enough food, clean water, and good wifi, so I can afford to be flexible.)

This workshop would typically cost $75, and if you can pay that, please do. (And if you’re willing to pay more than that, then go for it, and extra thanks! 😊)

But if $75 is a stretch, then pick a lower number that feels comfortable for you.

And if you can’t pay anything, then skip the paying part. (Truly, that’s fine. I’ve been there!)

Sign Up for the Workshop Here

After you sign up below, you’ll get a quick email to confirm that you’re you – be sure to open that message and click the button, because the email that arrives after that has what you need to access the workshop.

Got Questions?

Use the form below to send your question. I’ll reply as quickly as I can.

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