I’m not talking about the trance anyone can slip into when they get online, their eyes glaze over and they numb out. I’m talking about the intentional shift of consciousness writers make to enter the half-dreaming, hypnagogic state where the imaginary world becomes as real or more real than “consensual reality,” where images emerge without effort and your fingers can barely keep up on the keyboard or page. I’m talking about the blissful flow state of inspiration and illumination.
For several years, I’ve taught Entering the Flow at the Loft Literary Center to help writers develop their ability to intentionally move into the flow state instead of passively waiting and hoping inspiration will strike.
I know that hasn’t helped those of you who aren’t in the Twin Cities or even in the U.S. So I’m delighted to be part of the pilot phase of the Loft’s expansion into online learning. I’m adapting Entering the Flow to an online class that will be available this summer to writers everywhere.
Loft Online is Not Just Any Online Class
I know online classes are not new, but Loft Online classes are. All the things that make in-person Loft classes unique and effective will do the same for Loft online classes.
Loft classes are not cookie-cutter offerings; they are envisioned, designed, developed and taught by working, recognized writers who are also experienced and dedicated teachers.
You won’t find Fiction 101 or Poetry 101 taught by interchangable instructors in at the Loft. You will find classes thoughtfully designed and taught by published writers. You’ll find that each teaching artist brings her/his own perspective on what writers need to learn and how to most effectively facilitate that learning. You’ll find opportunities to co-create and participate in community of writers in both in-person and online Loft classes.
Worth the Work
A proposal for a Loft class is not something a potential teaching artist can just whip up in an hour or two. I’ve reserved several afternoons to work on a proposal for a new class I hope to teach this fall. (That’s right, even teaching artists who’ve taught at the Loft for years prepare complete proposals for new classes.)
I know that every hour I spend developing the proposal will pay off. When I’m teaching the class, I can focus on the writer-students, not on figuring out what I’m doing in class that day. I’ll have enough structure in place to be spontaneous and adaptable to the needs and interests of the unique collection of writers in the class without the danger of being capricious or haphazard.
Translating Entering the Flow into an online format is more work than I imagined and just like preparing a proposal, I know the work I’m doing now will free me later to focus on responding to the writer-students who’ll share the my “maiden voyage” into online teaching/learning.
I’ll keep you posted about when Entering the Flow online will be open for registration. You can find more information about the online classes available at the Loft now (Mary Carroll Moore’s “Your Book Starts Here” and “Your Book Starts Here Part 2”) and upcoming online and in-person classes at the Loft’s website. (BTW, a past attendee in Mary’s Your Book Starts Here class said “I got more out of this twelve weeks than in two years of college! The community we built was so great, we’ll be continuing to meet after the class is over.”)