How would you like to write without
worrying about the outcome?
What would it be like to stop staring at a blank screen?
Who would you be if you believed you could write?
It’s time to unleash the power of your words.
Writing doesn’t have to be hard. What makes it seem hard is all the myths about writing—the suffering artist staring at a blank screen for days on end. The writer so afraid of imperfection that she can’t even pick up her pen. The false starts and the false re-starts and the, Oh who am I kidding? when you stop starting at all.
When the voice inside your head insists You’re crazy to think you can write, you have two choices:
- Give up.
- Start typing.
I understand those choices because I’ve made them both.
For years, I was bound up by the idea that if I couldn’t write “perfectly,” I shouldn’t even try. So I didn’t.
I’m here to tell you, choice #2 is much more fulfilling.
My name is Elaine Bennett and I’ve made my living as a business writer for over 25 years, working with leading executives like Warren Buffett. I’ve even won awards.
“You have a terrific ear and you turn straight thinking into straight writing.”
But all that was only possible because I said “yes” to opportunity and told that negative voice in my head to put a sock in it.
I freed myself to create. And I’m here to free you too. If you’re ready.
Writing Unbound: the program I wish I’d had
I filled Writing Unbound with all the things I needed as a new writer. In fact, they’re things I still need: Skills. Support. Commitment. Guidance. And what may be the scarcest commodity in the world: Time.
Sound good? Let’s break it down:
It’s the biggest constraint we put on ourselves, so it’s the first thing you get in Writing Unbound. A live, hour-long webinar every week for 12 weeks. Time you set aside to learn the craft of writing. Time to let go of whatever else presses on your schedule and focus on this one thing you’ve been wanting to start, or improve. Give yourself the gift of time and discover where writing can take you.
Beyond the weekly webinar, you’ll dedicate 15 minutes to writing every day. If that feels intimidating, well, yes—I know. But it’s the only way to make real progress.
You know, people are funny. If you tell them “You can have what you want, but first you have to give up something you have”—most people will say no. We don’t like giving things up. We have closets full of clothes we don’t fit into and schedules full of commitments we don’t really want to take on. Not giving ’em up, no sir.
Most people will do anything for someone else, but they won’t give themselves the gift of 15 minutes a day to work on their own goals.
Well, I didn’t build this program for “most people.” I built it for people like you and me.
People like us believe that our goals and aspirations are worth a little scheduling roulette. People like us recognize how fulfilling it is to give ourselves permission to do what we love. And—make no mistake about it—people like us love programs like this.
We show up. We take on the challenges. We feel so freaking good when we see how far we can go. And then we go even farther.
Yes, you learned how to write in school. But perhaps it’s time to revisit those fundamentals—and discover some techniques your teachers might not have mentioned.
Which brings us to those 12 weekly webinars…I’ve got key topics lined up and I’m also happy to address any specific issues you’re struggling with.
- feeling “wrong” when you create
- experiencing life outside your comfort zone (at least for a few minutes at a time)
- taming perfectionism and procrastination
- finding and setting the right tone for a piece
- discovering your unique voice
- loosening up and writing with humor
- dealing with distractions
- adapting your style to the situation
- framing your message
- telling a story that sticks
- using data inventively
- moving your audience to action
In other words, we’ll discuss the craft of writing. And the mental gymnastics involved in getting the words out of your head and onto the page. With time for Q&A, of course.
But talk only goes so far—to really internalize new skills you have to use them. So I’ve put together a calibrated series of weekly exercises and writing prompts for you to work on. Not to take the place of your “regular” writing, but to supplement it. You can share your results with our Facebook group for specific comments from me and your fellow participants. Or you can ask questions about the exercises during the webinar Q&A.
“The prompts broadened my thinking and challenged my writing.”
But these weekly emails you’ll get—I call them The Weekly What—aren’t just writing exercises. Every second week, I’ll analyze a great piece of writing for you—a speech, an article, a blog post. You’ll get a backstage tour of the choices the author made, so you can begin to make more conscious choices in your own writing. This is how I learned to write—by studying the bones of great writing and then writing myself.
Oh, and did I mention that you receive these weekly exercises for a full year? (It must be true: it says so in the graphic.) So you can continue to build on the work we do in the first 12 weeks, establishing good writing habits that can last you a lifetime.
Listen to some of my students discuss their experiences with Writing Unbound (and its follow-up program, Writing Beyond). And if you’d like to know more about The Weekly What, you’ll find a shorter video here.
I named this program Writing Unbound because one of my goals is to free you from the artificial restrictions you’ve placed on yourself and your writing. Needing your desk laid out just so. Needing either absolute silence or the din of the espresso machine. Thinking that “writing” is something precious or specific or lofty—anything other than what you’re capable of.
In the Q&A during the webinars and in posts on our private Facebook group, you’ll learn you’re far from alone. Whatever doubts you’ve wrestled with, whatever procrastination traps you’ve fallen into, whatever “fight or flight” reflex your creativity has triggered, I can guarantee I’ve been there (I still am, sometimes) and so have your fellow participants. Engage with the Facebook group to support each other, ask questions, offer constructive advice. I’ll be in there too.
Still wondering? Have some answers.
How can Writing Unbound help me?
Maybe you’ve had this idea of writing inside you for a long time, just waiting to emerge. Why wait one more day?
Maybe you feel like you’d be in a better position professionally if you could express your ideas more memorably. Companies expect their leaders to be great communicators. Are you?
Maybe you’re in the nonprofit sector and your organization’s survival literally depends on how successfully you tell its story. How confident are you in your abilities?
Maybe you’re in business for yourself. Honey, I know that story well. We entrepreneurs are the board of directors, the marketing department, the sales staff, the web team. Those blogs don’t write themselves. Can you afford to keep pushing writing to the bottom of your to-do list?
Whatever your reason for joining us, Writing Unbound gives you time to work on the projects of your choice while honing your existing skills and developing new ones.
I’ve designed the program to help you discover how to break through the roadblocks we all throw in our own way. And to focus on developing yourself and your writing. In time, I hope you’ll discover how to write more quickly, with more clarity, ease, and enjoyment.
Why is Writing Unbound 12 weeks long?
I’m sure you can find a shorter writing program. A half-day seminar, a three-part webinar. You’ve probably taken classes like that already. And when they’re over, how long did it take before you stopped using the skills you learned?
I’m not looking to teach people who plan to forget what they’ve learned the minute the class ends. If that’s how you roll, save your money and my time.
But if you want to learn a craft, if you want to develop skills that you can deepen over time—then you understand that 12 weeks is only the beginning. It’s a drop in the bucket of your commitment to writing.
And when you own that commitment and allow the work we do in Writing Unbound to become an integral part of your life, you open yourself up to the joy of writing. It’s better than sex, and a lot less messy.
When are the webinars?
The live Writing Unbound webinars happen every Thursday at noon Eastern starting October 12, 2017—with no class on November 23rd (American Thanksgiving) or December 21st or 28th. The final session will be January 18th, 2018. Don’t worry if you can’t make one of the sessions; I’ll record each one and send you the replay, which you can access as many times as you’d like. For life.
What’s in the program?
I promised you “Skills. Support. Commitment. Guidance.” So let’s break that down.
We’ll cover skills in the weekly webinar. But Writing Unbound is much more than staring at your computer for an hour a week. You’ll practice the skills during your daily 15 minutes (that’s the commitment). And get support from me and each other in our Facebook page.
But one of the most powerful elements of the program is The Weekly What. To give you an idea of what this looks like, I’ve taken an article I posted on LinkedIn this year and turned it into a sample. You can download it here: Weekly What Sample – Ali
I created The Weekly What specifically to supplement the work we do in Writing Unbound. At some point, I may offer it as a self-directed standalone program, without the personalized feedback—but when you register for Writing Unbound, you get the 52 weeks of emails and the feedback. For no extra charge.
You’d pay upwards of $3700.00 for a semester-long course like this in business school (basing this on Johns Hopkins’ estimate of $1240 per credit for its “flexible MBA”). Then again, they don’t teach writing in business schools. Which explains a lot.
Add The Weekly What. As a yearlong self-directed writing course, it’s clearly worth upwards of $600.00. I’m not sure what I’ll charge for it if I offer it as a standalone product. Right now, it’s only available to Writing Unbound participants.
And the Facebook group. I know coaches who charge people to access their private Facebook groups. That makes sense if you think about it. When I comment on your posts, it’s a consultation of sorts. Membership would be a bargain at $99.00 a year. Yet I offer it to you for free.
Sadly, after September 15th, the bonus goes away.
But I can offer you private coaching at the reduced rate of $125 per half hour,
more than $60 below my regular fee.
To apply for the Writing Unbound, please fill out the application.
Do it even if you think you’re 100% not going to do the program;
I’ve designed the questions to help you discover some truths about yourself and writing.
Honor your inner voice and invest in your writing. It’s time.
People love working with me—whether I’m leading a custom-tailored webinar for a corporate client or working with a more diverse group of writers online. Here’s some of what my clients have said:
“You did something very few sessions do—make me want MORE! Your presentation style is captivating and I could listen to you for a very long time. It’s clear to me that what you do is a (well and hard worked on) gift.”
— Caroline Stokes, CEO, The Forward Co.
“Elaine is adept at creating thoughtful, entertaining content, and is just as creative when designing and delivering training. She helped a large and diverse communications team think differently about how they write…Elaine brings together the best of ‘old school’ (discipline, research, imagination) with a fun, approachable delivery that works for today’s audiences.”
— Claire England, Director, Deloitte
Maybe you wonder how it feels to start a 15-minute-a-day writing practice—something I’ll be encouraging you to do during Writing Unbound. Well, I’ve helped dozens of people do just that through my very popular 5×15 Writing Challenges. Here’s what some of my Challenge participants have to say:
“I can’t tell you how helpful this is.”
“I really feel I am finding my voice.”
“Great to get in the habit of creating on a daily basis.”
“…wrote for 18 minutes. What was astounding was being in the middle of noise and chaos yet I felt like it was just about the writing.”
“This 15 mins a day jumpstart challenge is really helping me work on my book objective for 2017. What a gift.”
To apply for Writing Unbound—or to set up a consultation with me about the program—please scroll back up and fill out the survey.
As they (sort of) used to say in the ’60s, “Write on!”