Join me in this live, two-hour class and discover the Five Things I’ve Learned about why writing happens best when we summon the faith and the nerve to get out of our own way – and free-fall instead into our psyche and imagination.

Dear Fellow Writers,

My name is Andre Dubus 3, and I’m the author of five novels, two short story collections, a memoir, and a forthcoming collection of personal essays. I have been writing since the early 1980s, but I’ve also been teaching creative writing for nearly as long, and one of the many things I’ve discovered in the classroom is that we writers quite often and quite easily can get in our own way.

Getting in the way is a difficult habit to recognize, and an even harder habit to break. And that’s why I want to invite you to my upcoming live class, Five Things I’ve Learned about Writing as Dreaming. Whether we’re writing fiction or creative non-fiction, we tend to want our work to illuminate something in particular – perhaps the challenges of marriage (gay or straight), of racism and patriarchy, of the ravages of addiction, etc – and so we control our writing, and we beat it into submission until it says just what we authors want it to say. But, if I’ve learned nothing in my decades of creative writing, I’ve learned this: the writing is larger than the writer, a surrender of each writer’s ego and its attendant authorial desires to something larger than herself, and this can only happen with a brave free-fall into the writer’s own psyche and imagination.

And so, during our time together, I’ll explain to you why I recommend that you do not outline your work. And why I urge you not to think out the plot, the narrative arc, the protagonist’s journey, whatever you want to call it. Instead, try to find the story through an honest excavation of the characters’ total experience of the situation in which they find themselves. Do that, and I promise the story will begin to write itself, with little need for the controlling hand of the godly, intelligent, well-read, and ambitious author.

How, precisely, does one go about this “excavation”? And how, technically speaking, can we ignite a story into “writing itself”? Come to this two-hour class, and I will seek to demystify those writerly tools and skills that time and time again, if they are sharp enough, and if the writer can summon enough daily faith and nerve, can penetrate the mystery of story itself.

Thank you. I look forward to working with you.

– Andre