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From Start to Finish: 
Creating a Writing Plan and Sticking to It
January 13, February 17, March 24, 2022
8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific)

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As we transition into a new year, it'll be time for warm-weather getaways and fresh plans for a new season.

And where, oh where, will your writing fit into it all?

Oh, yeah. That.

The first three months of the new year are the ideal time to build momentum on all the writing progress you’ve made over the past few months, start a book or screenplay from the very beginning, or bring a project to completion.

But it won’t happen unless you make the time and follow through.

 

And that’s where our Start to Finish Program comes in.

 

We’ll meet once a month through the winter and early spring months to help you develop a writing plan and stick to it, and we’ll be here to help celebrate with you in March when you look back at what you accomplished.

Here’s how the program will unfold.

This is all about developing good habits and discipline. Those may not seem like creative words, but they’re the framework in which your creativity can soar.

 

January 13: We’ll start by talking about strategies for setting up and sticking to a writing plan. “Daybatching,” reward systems—even something as simple as putting a sticker on the calendar for every day you write—can keep you on track. We’ll give you a few options so you can choose the one that fits you best.

 

We’ll talk about beginnings and endings—the difference between starting a project and finishing one. What stage is your project in, and what kind of support do you need?

Story Summit Founder David Kirkpatrick, the facilitator for the From Start to Finish workshop, will also present a keynote on how to master your creative impulse. This impulse can be both productive and dangerous. You’ll learn the ten tips on how to master it for completion of your project.

We’ll also put you in a small group with four other participants. You’ll meet every week for support, inspiration, and constructive criticism on your project. Some of the groups from last summer's Start to Finish became so close and supported each other so well, they continued to meet long after the summer program was over.

February 17: We’ll check in with you and see how you’re doing. We’ll give you ways to measure your progress and keep going even if (or when) your momentum lags. We’ll also give workshop participants a chance to read from their current project, and to share their challenges and achievements. Writing is often a solitary process, but you don’t have to feel lonely when you have a community of like-minded writers.

You’ll also be met with new information and inspiration by David, who will give a keynote on the habits used to create literary masterworks from Plato to Maya Angelou.

 

Meanwhile, your small group will continue meeting on its own once a week. David will drop by with every group to bring some wisdom and encouragement to the work.

 

March 24: We’ll congratulate you on your progress with an end-of-program celebration.

We know how hard it can be to keep showing up at the computer when life has other plans in mind. But we also know how important it is to keep writing—how much you can accomplish and how great you’ll feel when you do. We will also read some selected works from some of the participants.

David will conclude the workshop with an important keynote on how to create flow not only in your writing but in your life. He’ll talk about the “Satellite of Flow,” which keeps a dozen activities—ones that make you happy—alive in your day-to-day world. It’s important to your art to keep a healthy mental state. David will outline the way to accomplish it.

 

So, here’s the deal: The three sessions are just $125. Total. That’s a ton of support for less than $1.50 a day.

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We’re going to hold you—and each other—accountable.

The small group phenomenon has power and impact. This is a safe place for you. It’s all about accountability, community, and healthy process. You’ll meet every week for ten weeks. Your group will decide on the time.

This is what two of our From Start to Finish participants had to say about their ten-week small group meetings:

"There is so much wisdom at Story Summit, but I found it came gushing to me in torrents during the small group meetings. I was so grateful to have such talented and experienced writers in my group. They helped me to spot my weaknesses, gave me feedback on my writing, and allowed me to meet my goals more quickly. They were inspirational, shared their experiences on the creative challenges of writing a novel, and even on the practical challenges that come with a book, such as working with publishers, editors, and marketing. When the sessions end, I know I’ll be able to continue to count on them, and they will certainly be able to count on me. So grateful to my small group."

— Nikhil Hutheesing, journalist, 17 year-veteran of Forbes

"Writing is a lonely endeavor. Being able to share this extremely personal art form, while in the act of creating, is a blessing. While all of us are at different stages of our projects, I have had the wonderful experience of finishing my book and moving into the publishing process while meeting with my extraordinary group members. This is particularly poignant for me as, along with Jane Sibbett, I was honored with a Best Memoir Award almost two years ago at the very first Story Summit. I cannot recommend small groups enough. It serves as a light in the solitary week of writing for you to look forward to."

— Jocelyn Jones, acting coach, author of Artist, to be published in Spring 2022

Learn and be guided by the best

Your lead Start to Finish facilitator is Story Summit Founder David Kirkpatrick. Over his storied career as president of Paramount Pictures and production chief of Walt Disney Studios, David is no stranger to schedules and deadlines. There was a time at Disney, he managed a new movie into theatres every nine days.

During his studio days, David guided thousands of writers, all of whom had to keep to a plan and a delivery date, otherwise, there would be nothing to shoot when cameras rolled.

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Academy Award winners Sally Field and Kevin Klein confer with David Kirkpatrick on dialogue changes on the set of Paramount's comedy Soapdish.

When you’re working with David as a facilitator, you will be the beneficiary of a wide range of sage advice encased in some funny and harrowing stories.

"David shows us how storytelling is at the very root of what makes us uniquely human. The importance of instilling meaning in tomorrow’s stories is at the heart of David’s mission. He inspires us all."

—Frank Moss, Director, MIT Media Lab

"David completely charged up the 1,200 innovative educators from around the world. The Twitter feeds were so hot (from everything he was saying), I thought he might burn down the room. I know how important it is for educators to understand the impact and direction of the media. I was so overwhelmed with David’s presentation that I have been trying to have him write a curriculum for the public school system."

—Alan November, Director, Building Learning Communities Conference

Registration fee: $125 for 4.5 hours of instruction and a season of support.

EVENING CLASS

January 13, February 17, and March 24

8 to 9:30 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific)

Please note: Our classes are designed specifically for live participation, so your attendance is important. If you need to miss a class for any reason, you’ll receive a passcode-protected link to watch the recordings after the course is over.

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