When the northernmost parts of of North America are still being battered about by cold weather; when – wherever you are in the northern hemisphere – the days are short, and the nights interminably long; when it feels like spring will never come, join me and (up to) 14 other women for a long-weekend of writing our way free on Folly Beach in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina – where spring will already be beautifully sprung.  

writes your w

We’ll disconnect from our every day – from work, families and friends, responsibilities, and the constant pinging of electronic notifications – and we’ll write, witness, and support one another as we discover more of ourselves on the page.

write your way free

Carving out a space away from your everyday with Write Your Way Free will make it easier for you to listen to your inner voice, and to connect a freer part of you. All while relaxing into the warmth of  a group of like minded women.

write your way free

Write Your Way Free is a gentle, but powerful process to help you tame negative thoughts, trust your wise inner voice, and break free of all the “should”s, “must”s, and “got to”s you’ve absorbed along the way.

write your way free

 

writer babe

The sense of safety, sisterhood, acceptance, and encouragement that
Deb creates make her workshops an almost sacred experience.

Sarah ~ workshop participant

writer babe

write your way free

The Write Your Way Free retreat was made for you if…

write your way free

…you are craving something more in your life, but you’re not sure what the “more” is.

…you almost forget who you are away from the roles you play at home, work, and in caring for others. 

…you used to love to journal, but you can’t seem to get into it anymore. Or when you do, all you’re doing is venting about the stuff that frustrates you, and that … well, frustrates you.

…you feel like you’re at a crossroads, and you could use encouragement and support to stay committed to yourself.

…you’re aching to lighten the load you’re carrying from years of cultural conditioning about who you’re supposed to be, but you don’t know where to start.

…you’re tired of apologizing for every. damn. thing. 

…you need a break from the grind of your life.

…you’re craving more in-person connection.

…you love hanging out with like-minded women, talking about soul-work. (And laughing. And dancing. And eating yummy snacks.)

write your way free

PERHAPS THAT DOESN’T SOUND

LIKE A WRITING RETREAT TO YOU?

That’s because it’s not your typical writing retreat.

writer babe

We’re not writing to get published, or to perfect our work. There will be no critiques or “constructive feedback”. You won’t be “presenting” pieces you’ve been working on for a while.

Nope, we’re going to support one another, cheer each other on, and love each other up.

And yeah, I know it might be hard to imagine how you’ll love up women you might not know before you arrive on Thursday night, but I’m willing to bet that before the weekend’s through you’ll be connecting on social media, and exchanging email addresses with a number of your fellow participants to stay connected and supporting one another. Cause this work is magic like that.

 

writer babe

I joined Deb’s workshop, not because I wanted to “be a writer”, but because I wanted to show up for myself more. So much of my attention was going into being a mom, an employee, and a friend, that I was leaving myself in the dust. 

I was kind of scared at first, but even after the first exercise, I felt seen and understood. Like I wasn’t the only one who was dealing with things like this. That made me feel a little stronger to start dealing with some of the things that were holding me back.

Deb says that something magical happens when women come together to write. She’s not kidding. It IS totally magic. 

Nancy ~ workshop participant

write your way free

write your way free

DOES IT SOUND LIKE IT MIGHT BE FOR YOU? 

space

Beachside Boutique Inn, Folly Beach, SC

Then consider joining us for 3 days/3 nights on delightful Folly Beach in Charleston, South Carolina where we’ll retreat in cozy comfort in one of the most delightful, quirky, boutique inns ever – (so fabulous it was once featured on the Travel Channel). (Note: their website loads slowly.)

The inn has lovely common spaces – indoors and out – as well as a fully equipped kitchen, and each room has its own private bathroom, so you’ll have plenty of room, and space to yourself too.

The inn is easily accessible by bus, taxi, Lyft, or Uber from the Charleston International Airport.

writer babe

writer babe

write your way free

Want to know what we’re going to do? I thought you might.

Here’s a sample schedule

(emphasis on the word sample; I’m still playing with possibilities)

8:00 – 9:00: morning walk on the beach/journal writing

9:00 – 9:30: Breakfast (Drop in and grab a yogurt and coffee, or come hang out.)

10:00 – 12:30: Writing circle where you’ll get a mini “lesson”, we’ll write from prompts in real time, and – only if you want to – you can share your work. (Note: You’ll also be learning my compassionate witnessing method, which some of my long-time Writer Babes say is the secret sauce of the whole shebang.) 

12:30 – 1:30: Lunch and Conversation (Stick around and visit, or find a quiet spot at one of the many outdoor hang-outs on your own.)

1:30 – 2:30: Writing Session, or creative exercise

2:30 – 3:00 Afternoon snack/coffee break

3:00 – 4:00 Solo writing/rest time (The inn also has bicycles you can take out for an exploratory ride; squee!)

4:00 – 6:00: Off-site (hint: chairs on the beach) writing session/activity

6:00 – 8:00 Dinner/solo-time

8:00 – Optional activity … like a beach walk, a campfire – complete with s’mores – around the outdoor fire pit, or chatting about life and writing around the kitchen table 

writer babe

In addition to at least two daily writing circles, we’ll also have sessions of creative-stretching activities peppered throughout … like a dance party, quick in-the-moment Moth-like storytelling, and craft/art projects to stretch beyond the page.

writer babes

Your work keeps me writing, exploring my voice, my boundaries, and discovering that the woman I thought had gotten lost in all the caregiving, working and bending over backwards for others is still with me.

Writing in the safe community you create enables an intimacy, vulnerability, and alchemy of sharing that opens me up, lightens my load, and creates connection that is real, empowered, and sacred. 

Olivia ~ workshop participant

writer babe

This heart-nourishing experience is a perfect blend of

STRUCTURE, SOLITUDE, AND SOCIALIZING;

ACTIVITIES, GUIDANCE, AND OPEN SPACE. 

writer babe

You’ll recharge. You’ll feel SEEN and celebrated. You’ll gain perspective that only happens when you get out of your regular routine and space. And you’ll write. You’ll write a lot. 

write your way free

Having said all that …

write your way free

The Write Your Way Free retreat is NOT going to be the place for you if:
definitely not for you if you’re a trump-lover
…you’re looking for the kind of support that will help you with your goal of getting published. 
yup
The Write Your Way Free method can help you unleash a truer flow in your writing, and that may contribute to your ability to go home and complete the novel, short story, book, etc., but that’s not what we’re there for. This is about process, not publishing.
and not for you if …
…the idea of not being able to help or give advice to someone who is experiencing deep feelings is unimaginable to you. 
yup
You’re going to learn a new way of being with others that is about removing the need to “fix” feelings, or pass your responses through a filter of your own experience. This might sound hard, and it might take a while to get used to, but like any exercise, it gets easier with practice. And you may even find that it changes the way you want to interact with people post-retreat.
and not for you if …
…you want to be pampered at a super-schwanky hotel with five star spa services.
yup
Yeah, that’s not this retreat. The Beachside Boutique Inn is fabulously whimsical and quirky: the rooms vary in size and there’s nothing uniform about the decorations and furnishings. But it’s fabulous in all its “funky Folly flair”. (Rated 4.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor).
and not for you if …
…you’re looking for a rapid way to “fix” long-standing issues.
yup
While the Write Your Way Free method is therapeutic and helpful in providing perspectives that (in time) can provide breakthroughs galore, it’s not a magic substitute for therapy.
and not for you if …
…you’re anti-gay, anti-diversity, and you think a lot of the US’s challenges would be solved if we just installed a wall at our southern border. Oh, and also if you’re bothered by swearing (cause that’s going to happen).
yup
If this bit of info comes as a surprise, it might help to check out my blog, or my social media presence (all the usual links are at the bottom of the page).There, you’ll get a pretty good idea of who I am, what I think, and whether you’ll feel comfortable with my vibe. 
(This would probably be a good time to introduce myself too, don’t you think?)
write your way free
write your way free
About Deb: Your host/facilitator/Grand Poobah Writer Babe
write your way free
i’m not to big i’m not too small i’m not to wide i’m not too tall; i’m beautiful damnit
I’m something of a “writing evangelist” – as a workshop leader and founder of Write Your Way Free, and The Writer Babes group, I create a safe space that inspires and encourages women to use the powerful but simple practice of writing to break free of the things that are keeping them from having the kind of life they want. 
(and why’s that? well, i’ll tell you …)
why? well, because
Because I believe that happy, powerful women send ripples out to people all around them, making a happier, stronger, more compassionate (and take-no-bullshit) kind of world. And the best way I know to make that happen is through the deceptively simple, but profound practice of putting pen to paper.
yup
Want to know more? This is good place to go
write your way free

write your way free

READY TO JOIN US?

Here’s how to register.

writer bab

The price of the retreat ranges from to $940 – $1,125 (depending on the room you choose – more on that below).

Pay in full by January 28th for 10% off.

Registrations after February 27th are $990 – 1,175.

 

Your registration includes all retreat activities, your room, a welcome swag-bag, breakfast and snacks each day, and lunches on Friday and Saturday

 

Dinners can be prepared in the shared kitchen in the main house, or you can walk around the block for your choice of restaurants in Folly Beach. Or you can take a drive into historic downtown Charleston – just 10 miles away. 

writer babe

writer babe

RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR $300*

(deposits are non-refundable)

OR PAY IN FULL BY 1/28, AND GET 10% OFF – $846 

(instead of the full price of $940)

see?

deets about rooms …

Once you’ve made your deposit (or paid the base price in full),
you will be invited to choose your room from the available rooms at the Inn.
If you choose one of the higher priced rooms and you’ve chosen the pay-in-full option,
your payment of the difference will be due within 7 days.  

check ’em out here (one has a sauna in the bathroom!)

Check out the rooms here.
(Remember, the inn’s website loads slowly …)

Note: The sooner you register, the more room options you’ll have to choose from. 

 

writer babe

There are also 6 spots available for Charleston locals,
or people who would like to make their own
accommodation arrangements in the Charleston area.
Commuter participants pay $550.

(One caveat for commuter participants:
breakfast is only available for the peeps who are staying at the inn;
you’ll be on your own for that one too.)

Such a deal

 

Commuters: RESERVE YOUR SPOT FOR $250.*

(deposits are non-refundable)

OR

OR PAY $495 NOW THROUGH JANUARY 28

(instead of the full price of $550)

 

 

writer babe

*Note: Deposits are non-refundable. Your full payment is due 30 days prior to the retreat.

Registrations are refundable up to 30 days prior to the retreat, less your deposit. After February 25th, there are no refunds. We can try to sell your spot, and if we do, you will receive a refund, less your deposit. You can also sell or gift your spot – but I’ll want to have a quick chat with the buyer beforehand to be sure they know what they’re getting. 

Payment plans are available upon request. Just ask. 

writer babe

writer babe

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SIGN UP …

First, I’ll be so excited, and I’ll send you an email of celebration and we’ll do a virtual happy dance together (just to get used to those, cause we might be dancing at the retreat … just sayin’). 

After that, a couple weeks before we gather in South Carolina, I’ll open up a retreat Facebook page (totally optional). It’ll be a place to get to know some of your fellow Writer Babes, ask questions of me, possibly coordinate Lyfts or cabs from the airport … that sort of thing. (If you don’t choose to join the FB group, you can always ask me questions via email.)

After that, just pack your bags, bring your favorite journal, notebook, pens and … I’ll see you in glorious Charleston!

 

 

GOT OTHER QUESTIONS?

I’ve got answers!

 

First of all, a “real” writer is someone who writes. Period; full stop.

If you have any nerves about writing among a group of people who have been at it a little longer than you have, you’ll soon realize that we’re all starting where we are, and working on what we come to the party with. 

And with gentle exercises and fierce support, you’ll write your way through the fear, the judgement, the comparisons, and all the big and little things that are stopping you. 

The methods we use in Write Your Way Free have been helping woman write themselves into more freedom, and get to the heart of their lives for over 15 years.

In all of my workshops and programs, women who were blocked, afraid, self-conscious, and terrified have unblocked, gotten brave, tossed out the apologies, and stood stronger – sometimes after just an hour or two. This isn’t about grammar, spelling, trying to impress others with your fabulous prose, or writing for publication – it’s about conversations with yourself; it’s about exploration and understanding, and there’s no need to pretty it up and load expectation on top of expectation.

I’ve yet to meet a woman who hasn’t been able to get flowing with this process. So please don’t sweat it. I’ve got you covered. You can do it, even if you think you can’t. 

 

You can share your writing in the group – or not. The choice is up you.

Participants are taught a set of guidelines that I’ve honed since I began teaching over 15 years ago. They’re designed to ensure that everyone feels safe, comfortable, and encouraged, and that their writing/sharing is witnessed with respect and compassion. 

So again, you don’t have to share your writing, and there will be no pressure to do so.

But I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ll want to at some point. 

 

Here’s the thing: it can, and it probably will. But not directly.

The Write Your Way Free programs and retreats are about process, not product or publication.

If we were about product, then the product would be you – your heart, spirit, sass, energy, and direction.

But that’s probably not what you were thinking.

If you are looking for accountability and support to get the next couple chapters of your book done, or you’re looking to produce some solid web content, this probably isn’t the program for you.

(I’d be happy to talk to you about doing some of that one-on-one though. If you have any question, get in touch: deb [at] debcooperman [dot] com.) 

If you’re doing therapy, a writing practice can be a HUGE help in moving that work forward. And while Write Your Way Free and my other programs are definitely not therapy, they can be hugely therapeutic. You’ll gain all sorts of new perspectives about yourself, and it’s likely you’ll expand your compassion and inner strength muscles too. (No kidding. It’s really kinda magic like that.)

But again: NOT therapy.

It would be wise to tell your therapist that you’re explore writing practice, and you may want to share some of the insights you’re getting through your work. But rather than conflict with it, this practice can be a great support for what you’re doing in therapy.

Want some back-up on that? Check out these articles …

Psychology Today

New York Times

American Psychological Association’s Monitor Magazine

You just need to be over 21. Most of the women who join my programs range from their mid/late 30s to the mid-60s, but I’ve had women in their 20s, and women nearing 80 writing in my circles too. 

The management of the inn offers a daily breakfast and I have no control over what they offer, but if you have a food allergy that’s anything like my sister’s melon allergy (she can’t even be in a room with cut melon without risking asphyxiation – scary shit!), please be sure to let me know so I can alert the management of the inn.

As for lunches and snacks, I’ll be pulling those together, and I’ll do my best to ensure we’ve got a wide variety of food and options, but if you have very specific issues you’re concerned about, please reach out so I can better understand, and see what we might be able to do to best accommodate.

You’ll have your own room and private bathroom, so you can choose to skip out on activities if you need to recharge. Dinners are also on-your-own, so you can go out in a group, or go wander Folly by yourself. Whatever works for you.

Cause one thing you’ll learn about my work is that there’s no perfect way to do it. If taking care of yourself means that you need sleep in, and don’t join us until part-way through the morning, or you need an afternoon nap? Have at it. Do what you’ve gotta do. 

Well, on the official qualifications side: I’m a professionally trained and certified coach, so there’s that. But there are a lot of coaches out there, so, you might be thinking: Big fargin deal.

I get it.

I don’t usually lead with the coaching stuff, because – even though my coaching skills inform the work that I do, it’s not what I do.

What I do is different. I teach a practice, and I practice what I teach.

Because I’ve walked in shoes that are probably very similar to yours. I’ve questioned choices, made big life changes, and bravely stepped into the unknown (many, many times; I left a marriage; moved across the country because I’d always wanted to; planned and prepped for my business while working a demanding “day job” to name a few…).

And I know that writing is an incredibly valuable tool for all of this. I’ve worked with loads of women who have learned the value too. Women who have peeled layer after layer of old stories and beliefs that have been weighing them down for too. damn. long. Women who don’t want to find themselves 5 years on saying: “if only” … and “what if?”

I want to show you that you can have that too. 

I want you to get – really get in your bones – that what you want matters. That your light should not be dimmed and you should break free of every damn thing that tries to do that. And I really (really, really) want you to get out there and unapologetically live your one wild and precious life … because it’s the only one you’ve got.

I’ve found that one of the most profound ways to be in that process of discovery is through a writing practice.

Want to know more about me? You can read my bio here on the website, or come check out my stuff on Instagram to get a better idea about who I am and what moves and motivates me.

If you want some one-on-one time, I‘ll be taking “sign ups” for one-on-one chats during a couple of the breaks.

So if you want to talk over something that’s come up for you in the writing; maybe you want some suggestions for places where you might feel stuck; or if you’d like some more private personal prompts (you’ll be getting a couple of those in our group sessions) – that’s the time to do it.

Bonus: the one-on-one sessions are included in the cost of the retreat.

(And [shhh; it’s a secret…], you’ll also have a chance to get a follow-up one-on-one session to use anytime within three months of the retreat for a super-duper-reduced price.)

Well, if you sign up early and pay in full, there’s a 10% discount … but if you’re asking this question, I suspect you either …

1) missed the early enrollment option, or

2) that 10% discount doesn’t make much of a dent in the overall cost for you

While it’s true that I want my work to be accessible to everyone, I know that – even though I cut the cost of this retreat almost to the bone already – this particular offering is going to make it hard for some peeps to say yes. 

And here’s the bottom line: I’m in business, and I’ve got to make money so I can keep the lights on, the internet running, the groceries in the fridge, etc. … so I can share this work with as many people as possible. 

I DO offer a payment plan for the retreat (just ask), and I don’t penalize you for paying in installments. (So, y’know, it’s kinda like a no-interest credit card for you between now and March 28th …). 

Having said that, I understand that even with the early discount, and the payment plan, this might still be out of reach for some. It’s a bummah; I get it. And, like I said: I may be one person, but I am in business, so … the price is the price. 

I will be setting up a Pay-it-Forward fund (like the fab marketing goddess Illana Burke) later this year so there will be some bucks available to help offset costs for one or two people at future retreats. (And more, as the fund grows.)

What you CAN do until then, is check out the Write Your Way Free Foundational Course; it’s almost 87% less than the retreat, so … y’know, way more affordable.

You won’t get the hang-out-on-the-beach-with-a-bunch-of-amazing-women benefit that you’d get at the retreat, but you’ll have 3 weeks to swim in similar concepts and exercises with another group of amazing women. Check it out. Our next one starts in February. 

 

writer babe

writer babe

Have a question I haven’t addressed? Drop a line.

I’ll answer; I promise.

I can’t wait to write with you on the beach in Charleston!