Who This Course Will Help
This course is for both unpublished and published authors who wish to write in a way that connects with readers – and themselves – at the deepest levels. Many writers are technically sound and fine thinkers. True connection with readers requires more, however. The secret to making that connection, whether you write fiction or non-fiction, is writing from the heart.
Many of us approach writing by wondering what readers, editors, and publishers want. Instead, this course will focus on what interests us as writers. What things are we most passionate about and do we dare write about them?
This course offers tips and techniques for connecting with your writer’s heart – and discovering themes and concerns that will bring your writing to life.
What This Course Teaches
This four-week course offers practical ways for involving head, heart, and craft in writing – with a particular emphasis on tapping into your heart. Each lesson will include opening thoughts by Brent and then lead into exercises regarding that week’s topic.
Week One: Heart and Mind
The first week will explore how we link head and craft with heart. It uses concrete exercises that will tap into what you know – and don’t know you know. We’ll also look at the places where heart and head intersect so that we can produce powerful writing.
Week Two: Heart and Body
In our second week, we will go deeper in exploring the personal by adding body to heart. We will work with exercises that explore like-heartedness, but not necessarily like-mindedness as a way to connect with readers whose life experiences are different from our own.
Week Three: Putting it All Together: Heart, Body, and Mind
During week three, you’ll delve into a deep personal experience from the perspective of heart instead of head. You’ll learn how to bring all the senses (physical, emotional, mental) to bear in bringing the story to life.
Week Four: Going Long and Deep
Week four will pull all the learning from the first three weeks into a longer writing project where you can draw on what you’ve experienced. As with the previous weeks, it will include practical tips and guided exercises.
What This Course Includes
Weekly Assignments for completion at your own pace—designed to help you put what you learn into action.
- Receive suggestions for reading and other resources for you to go deeper in writing from the heart
- Be able to chat with Brent in real time (video, audio, and text) during his weekly online office hours (2 separate hour per week)
- Have access to a dedicated private Facebook page where you can (if you choose)
- ask questions and engage in discussions with Brent and the other course participants. Brent will check the page daily for questions and comments.
- share your work based on the exercise and invite feedback from the other course participants
A review (via email) by Brent of up to ten pages of a manuscript in which you’ve put some of the learning from this course into practice.
About the Instructor
With more than twenty books and numerous articles and short stories published since the 1980s, Brent has learned a thing or three about writing. His book titles include Life Lessons from a Bad Quaker: A Humble Stumble Toward Simplicity and Grace, Sacred Compass: The Way of Spiritual Discernment; and Holy Silence: The Gift of Quaker Spirituality. He's a writing coach, editor, photographer, and retreat leader.
One reviewer said of Brent that he’s “… a substantial spiritual guide, but never in a flashy way. Think of - oh, perhaps something like Mister Rogers Meets the Dalai Lama.” Brent is a member of Spirituality & Practice’s Living Spiritual Teachers Project
A MWW alumnus, Brent lives on Ploughshares Farm – 50 acres of Indiana farmland being reclaimed for native hardwood forests and warm season prairie grasses.