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How to Write About Your Life

Who Should Take This Course

You know you have great stories in your head, but it’s hard to get yourself to write them. Penelope Trunk has been writing about her life for 30 years and it’s still hard for her to sit down and write—every single time it’s a struggle. But the payoff—having stories about her life that people pay her to write—is exhilarating and fulfilling. She can show you how to get that for yourself.

The key to writing about your life is having a clear sense of why you’re writing and what you’re writing about. But you can’t spend too much time philosophizing or you’ll never get started. This course will show you the tactics Penelope has developed for balancing the exploration of deep psychology in writing with the brass-knuckles requirement of forcing yourself to sit down and write, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.

Why You Should Take This Course

This course will show you daily tactics and yearly goals so that you can tell stories effectively. This course will also make you FEEL like a writer, which is surprisingly more fulfilling than any other part of learning to write.

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How to Write About Your Life

Instructor

penelope_instructor_bio

Penelope Trunk

Penelope Trunk is the author of a bestselling career book (published by Time Warner) and a memoir (published by University of Colorado). Publisher’s Weekly lauded Penelope for “quick punchy prose that keeps the reader riveted.” Her blog has more than one million readers a month, and she has taught writing at Brown University and Boston University.

What People are Saying about this Course:

I took How to Write About Your Life, and I will say that I got my money’s worth. I was re-invigorated. Penelope stays on topic and just being in her presence is kind of electrifying. She is also available during the week of the course to answer your personal questions via email, which is valuable. If you get a big charge reading the seminar description, I’d say you can’t go wrong to take it. You’ll get something out of it.something out of it.

Julie H.

This was the perfect antidote—I just had surgery and nothing really interests me that much to keep me awake and engaged after surgery—but every morning I looked forward to watching the seminar on replay.

Anne S.

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Schedule

DAY ONE: HOW TO CHOOSE WHAT PART OF YOUR LIFE TO WRITE ABOUT

People think the biggest problem about writing about your own life is what to reveal. But actually, the more difficult problem is how to not be boring. In general, people want to read about someone else’s life if it relates back to their own in some illuminating way. Learn how to give up control of the story to get a better story.

DAY TWO: HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR STORIES

We all have a bazillion stories to tell. In this session, learn how to take a moment that you really want to tell people about and turn it into a story that will resonate with readers. The process here is self-editing and thinking about a story arc even though life does not unfold in neat plot lines. (Bonus! If you learn to do this well, you’ll be able to write your resume better and you’ll do better in job interviews.)

DAY THREE: HOW TO CREATE A SYSTEM FOR WRITING

Most people do not write about themselves for a living. They have a day job and they write in addition to that job. Having a system helps you become more efficient so you can write regularly. Penelope will show you the tricks she uses to force herself to write when she doesn’t want to. Learn about three different types of posts, as well as how to write them, organize your links, create a writing schedule and organize the posts you save for later.

DAY FOUR: HOW TO TURN YOUR WRITING INTO A PAYCHECK

Good writers can make money writing. But it’s not so straightforward. Learn about the wide range of ways you can get paid to write about yourself. Penelope shows you how she was able to land a blog-to-book deal with a six-figure advance. She will also show those of you who just want to write a book the shortcuts to getting a book deal so you can live off the advance while you write the book. If any of you end up being ready for an agent, Penelope will put you in touch with her agent, who has agreed to look at any proposals she sends her way from this class.

DAY FOUR: BONUS

Penelope answers the most common questions on writing.