write your way free – the foundational course
If you’ve seen all the TED talks, watched a bunch of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday conversations, read a bunch of best-selling self-help books, and listened to so. many. personal growth podcasts,
but the dots still aren’t connecting, you’ve come to the right place.
That’s because no matter how much you’d love Cheryl Strayed to take you by the hand and metaphorically guide you along her Pacific Coast Trail of epiphanies, it’s not going to happen.
The only person who can get you to the understanding, insight, and self-acceptance you crave is you.
That’s what Write Your Way Free is all about.
And The Foundational Course is where everyone starts.
This 3 week online circle is offered four times/year. It’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned and taught in over 15 years of facilitating this work with hundreds of women. This is how it all comes together.
The next session: March 4 – 22.
No seriously; sign up. I’ll wait.
With structure – and lots of room for freedom (I mean, it’s about getting freer, right?) – you’ll learn how to get started with a transformational writing practice; how to keep going, and how to bust through blocks when they show up. (You’ll also learn how your writing blocks are a lot like some of the other blocks in your life. And you’ll see how writing can help you bust those too.)
You’ll also be introduced to the wonderful experience of writing in community – a cornerstone of The Foundational Course – and something that sets this work apart from a standard journaling or writing practice workshop.
That’s because writing in community provides a powerful hard-to-describe something that writing alone just can’t.
And that’s being seen, understood, appreciated, and totally loved-up. The idea of being fully witnessed adds something so special to the experience of getting your thoughts, stories, and truths out; it’s really the secret sauce to my work.
It’s a little hard to describe its magic, but…
…workshop participants say it’s
- …and life-changing
In Write Your Way Free you’ll learn a creative, reflective practice that will help you get free of the layers of expectations you’ve been living with – the years of conditioning, societal expectations, and influences from the workplace, pop culture, social media, advertising, and the diet-culture and self-help industries that often play into our deepest fears.
All those things that keep us thinking there’s a right way to be; a way we’re supposed to look, act, and feel.
Writing can help us get clear on the things we really want – not just the things we’ve been sold and told to want.
oooh; don’t even think about snagging this.
Writing can become mirror to help you bust through blocks, energize out of inertia, and make mincemeat out of the internal voices that say:”can’t,” don’t,” “not good enough,” and “you should” (or “you shouldn’t”).
It can help you get free of those layers of expectations; of the years of putting others first, and those negative voices that seem to be on constant loop in your head.
I’ll teach you how to spill your heart and soul on the page;
to uncover, discover, and recover YOU
beneath all that crap you’ve internalized that
was NEVER EVER you, darlin.
This program will help you find the road in.
A road to reconnect to your powerful, inner Wonder Woman; to help you uncover/rediscover what matters most to you (when so much about the world conspires to fit you into some kind of “acceptable” norm), and then, if you want to, help you start forging a path forward.
To WRITE YOUR WAY FREE.
The one thing it won’t be? Prescriptive.
It’s not ”6 modules to your best life” … no: “Do A, B, and C you’ll remake your life and tackle all the challenges you’re facing in order to create the shiny, happy world of your dreams” either.
Sorry, girlene. This work isn’t sweetness and light all the time.
But it’s going to be TOTALLY worth it.
seriously. it’s awesome.
The sense of safety, sisterhood, acceptance, and encouragement that
Deb creates make her workshops an almost sacred experience.
Sarah ~ workshop participant
seriously. it’s awesome.
WHAT TO EXPECT
You’ll have three weeks of lessons (delivered via PDF and video), group calls (more on those below), and creative prompts. You’ll learn simple, effective techniques that will teach you how to make the most of this practice (or deepen your existing practice), and make it your own.
You’ll learn how to:
- approach writing, break through blocks, and go beyond “first thoughts” to mine your depths.
- use the negative voices (the ones that usually stop you in your tracks) to go deeper and discover more support instead.
- hold space for the sharing of “fresh” writing, and gain the powerful support that comes from being compassionately witnessed (without getting advice, suggestions, or input on craft).
- find things to write about even when you feel like there’s nothing to write about.
- create your own personal bank of ideas, topics, and inspiration that you can come back to any time. Things that truly matter to you.
- recognize themes in your writing and your life with the help of one of my favorite tools. No matter how many personal growth workshops you’ve taken, this tool will help you track the changes, challenges, and things to celebrate from day-to-day, week-to-week, and year-to-year.
THE PROGRAM INCLUDES
We’ll have one 90-minute video-conference call each week during our time together (you can also join by audio alone if you prefer).
The calls are like mini-virtual workshops with some instruction, inspiration, exercises, and the magical experience of writing in a group of like-minded, searching, and growing women.
There will be Q&A time at the end of each gathering.
Calls are on Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET, but if you can’t make the call live, they’ll be recorded, so you can catch up at your leisure. (Files will be stored in a secure, encrypted file in Dropbox Pro, and available only to course participants for the duration of the course + 2 weeks.)
But as I said: writing in community is a magical element of this work, so once you register, get those dates in your book and passionately guard that time!
We’ll also gather to create a supportive, intimate, online community in a private Facebook group, where a lot of digging in will happen. There, we can talk more about weekly lessons; we’ll write from prompts, and get bits of inspiration and/or weekly challenges. Do the exercises that call to you, and share your experience in the group (or not). It’s totally up to you.
The group is a place for you to share insights, ask questions, bounce ideas off each other, and cheer each other on. I’ll be super-active in the group, offering encouragement, support, various pop-up exercises, insights, and challenges.
There will also be two sessions of online “office hours” during the program where you can catch me in real-time to ask questions about your practice, and the process.
The Facebook group will open a few days before the first call, and will remain open for two weeks after the last call.
In over 15 years of facilitating programs and workshops, I’ve helped hundreds of women break free of so. many. things. that are holding them back, all while befriending themselves with a writing practice.
Because we’re not getting any younger, right?
And this life thing is finite.
And I don’t know about you but (cue Paula Cole, please…) “I don’t wanna wait for my life to be over” before I stop apologizing for taking up space, and start doing the things I really want to do.
But I get how hard it can be to get moving on this stuff. I get that the longings we live with can sometimes feel like impossible dreams, and the prospect of breaking free of habits and intrenched ways of thinking can be scary.
I also know that a writing practice can help with all those things.
And even if you think you can’t write, trust me: you can. I have yet to meet a woman who has been through Write Your Way Free who has been unable unlock the door and begin getting her heart on the page.
If you join this program, be ready for my personal brand of soulful kickassedness, humor, and fierce support. And lots of fabulous pop music references – particularly from the days of cassette tapes, albums, and 45s.
EARLY BIRD BONUS – Through February 20th (6pm ET)
While you’ll be able ask questions in the Facebook group and on our group calls – when you sign up during “early bird” days, you can also get a 30 minute session of guaranteed 100% focused, individualized attention and support, with an added 1-on-1 session with me.
With this time I’ll address questions or issues that have come up for you, and create personalized prompts just for you so you can dig deeper on some issues you’re focusing on.
This time can be used at any point during the Write Your Way Free Foundational Course, or up to a month after we wrap up.
(And if you don’t sign up during the early bird, you can still get an hour 1-on-1 session for 30% off my usual price: just $97. Not too shabby.)
I KNOW YOU WANT TO KNOW: “How much is it?”
The course is offered for what my peeps tell me is a no-brainer price: just $127.
Why do I make it so affordable?
Because I want everyone to have access to this. I SO believe in the power of writing – particularly writing in community – and I would love every woman who looks at this page to DO IT.
I have plenty of other offers – many that cost more – but this is where everything begins, and I want as many women as possible to be able to participate.
are you ready?
ARE YOU READY?
The next session runs March 4 – 22
Still not sure? Got 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. There’s no “stars” in our group.
Wait a minute! Strike that, reverse it* … we are ALL stars.
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.
*Yup, Willy Wonka.
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 might be helpful to tell your therapist that you’re exploring with a 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 …
All of the calls will be recorded and shared with program participants (via a secure Dropbox Pro link), so you can totally do the program if you can’t make the calls.
AND, the calls are going to be awesome, so if there’s any way to be there for them, do.
Note, you’ll have the opportunity to submit questions in advance of the calls, so even if you can’t make it, you can get question(s) answered live.
If you’re still unsure about whether it will work for you or not … shoot me an email and ask your question now; I’ll get back to you with some thoughts within 2 (business) days.
If you’re nervous that someone might find and read your stuff, that might be an opportunity to discuss privacy issues with the people in question.
If that’s not feasible for some reason*, you could put your writing it in a sealed box, take photos of it on your phone and store it in a password protected vault, or buy an inexpensive locker to keep in the back of your closet, basement, attic, or somewhere else that feels safe. If you’re not writing by hand (although I really encourage you to do it that way, cause there’s really something magical about that), there are a number of ways to password protect your writing online, or right on your computer. (Here’s a great article from Lifehacker with a few suggestions.)
*… and if you don’t trust the people you surround yourself with to respect your privacy, that might be something to look into, don’t you think?
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.
I’ve put a LOT of thought, heart, and energy into my work and it’s my heartfelt desire that you get what you came for.
And, I’m not everyone’s cuppa, so do invest mindfully, and be sure you want what I’m offering before you make your payment.
Having said that: if you come LIVE to the first call*, and participate in all of the exercises in the FB group during the first week, and the program just isn’t what you thought it would be, drop me a line before midnight ET of the 7th day of the program – and I’ll refund your money, less the value of that week. (i.e.: If it’s a 4 week program, and the cost is 100, you get $75 back. A three week program at $127; you get back $84.)
If you’re interested, but not entirely sure if it’s right for you, drop me a line, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions within 2 business days.
*If you’re in a time zone that would be asleep when our calls happen, then you’d be exempt from this aspect of the policy.
Not a fan of the book ‘o’ face? I get it. While there are a number of virtual community platforms out there, after surveying of some women in my community, it seems that Facebook is the place where most of them gather, so that’s where we’ll be – at least for now.
You don’t HAVE to be on Facebook to participate, and a big part of the secret sauce of this program is the conversations and community that grows from participation in the calls AND the FB group, so if you can, we’d super-love to have you. .
If you want to be part of the Facebook group, you’ll need a computer, tablet, or smart phone (see the FAQ: ‘Do I need to be on Facebook to participate?’ for more on that). Our calls will be on a video conference system*, which you can join via smart phone, tablet, or computer.
You can also connect via phone, but your ability to interact on the calls will be impacted because you won’t be able to participate in the text chat-box that takes place through the video platform. So if you can connect via video, your experience will be better.
*If you’re self-conscious about being “on camera,” you can always turn the camera feature off and just listen in. That way you’ll still be able to see what I’m sharing, and you’ll be able to use the chat-box feature.
And of course, you’ll also need a notebook or journal to write in, and something to write with. You could write on a computer, but there really is something magical about going analog. I highly recommend at least giving it a try.
This depends on how deeply you want to dive in with the work, and yourself.
A big part of writing practice is about making yourself a priority – putting yourself at the top of your to-do list – and you want to do that don’t you? I mean, this is it; this is life – the one you get* … so finding some time every day is ideal. 20 minutes is great. More? Bonus.
Having said that, there have been women in past programs who’ve said that the only time they wrote was on our calls, and they still got value. So, even if the only time you manage to pick up a pen is on our calls, you’ll still experience the magic of the practice. (And I’ll bet you’ll want more…)
*Yes, I did just quote the One Day at a Time theme song.
(Here’s the reboot version by Gloria Estefan if you prefer.) 🙂
While it’s true that I want my work to be accessible to everyone, I know that not everyone can drum up those bucks easily.
And here’s the bottom line: I’m in business, and I’ve got to make a profit 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. (See the Catch 22?)
I can offer a payment plan (just ask), and I won’t penalize you for paying in installments if that helps.
Having said that, I understand that even with a 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 in future iterations. (And more, as the fund grows.)
If you’re looking at this FAQ just out of curiosity, and you’re feeling particularly generous and would like to throw some dollars in the fund in order to make it easier for someone else to experience this life-changing practice, drop me a line.
as you wish
as you wish
AFTER THE PROGRAM
I know that 3 weeks isn’t a long time to be making a real practice of this practice, and you may only be scratching the surface of this work during our time together.
But don’t worry: I won’t leave you hanging.
Once The Foundational Course is over, you’ll be able to join all future Write Your Way Free programs like Dear Future Me; Body Stories; Letting Go; Grief; In this Picture (a memory project), Legacy Letters, and more – as well as in-person workshops and retreats, and the fabulous super-secret Writer Babes membership group.
Is $127 still too steep for you?
Send me an email and let me know; there might be something I can do to help.
Or maybe you’re saying: This is just what I need.
Where do I sign up?
Well, darlin’, I’ve got you covered right here...
Have a question I haven’t addressed? Drop a line.
center goddamn it