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Fearless Creativity

The Austin Writing and Meditation Sessions

June 3 - June 7

WHEN: June 3, 2020 ​– June 7, 2020

WHERE: My house in Austin, Texas

Limited to 11 participants

WHAT: Fearless Creativity is a 4-day writing and meditation gathering that’s specifically designed to:

  • Support you to get a lot of writing done
  • Teach you meditation as a stand-alone practice and a support for creativity
  • Give you the time and space you need to write
  • Offer insights from my 15-year career as both a writer and a teacher
  • Leave you with a 3-step daily at-home meditation and writing practice
  • Demonstrate how your wisdom and creativity respond when you take a break from the busy-ness of everyday life

It is a rare and precious thing to take time for yourself and your voice in this way. Bring your journals, laptops, writing projects, ideas, and intentions.

 

 

This program is for…

Writers of all kinds, including those who say “I’m not a writer.” (If you’re writing, you’re a writer.)

I have taught Fearless Creativity at residential retreat centers for over a decade. Past attendees have included memoirists, novelists, poets, bloggers, songwriters, screenwriters, and people with an important professional commitment to a writing project (like a textbook or a how-to manual). Participants have completed stories, figured out plot points, started new projects, surprised themselves with a new creative direction, and finally written about what is most important.

This program is for you if you long for the time and space to listen to your own voice and sink into a project with the support of a teacher, a preset schedule, a community, and lots (and lots) of tacos. Not to mention, beautiful early summer weather in Austin.

How does it work?

This program is by application to make sure that our gathering works for all.

We will meet each day at my sweet, sunny home in Austin, Texas. Our days will begin with meditation and then we will settle in for writing. (A detailed schedule is below.) Between the living room, kitchen table, two guest bedrooms, large screened-in porch, and my small meditation and writing studio in the backyard, we will each find a comfortable spot to work.

Where will I stay?

You are responsible for getting yourself to Austin and finding accommodations. Once your application is accepted, I will provide a list of nearby Airbnbs and fun hotels at a variety of price points.

The house is an easy 15-30 minute drive (depending on traffic) from the Austin airport.

Will I need a car?

It depends where you stay. I live in the heart of South Austin right on a bus line. It is also easy to call Uber or Lyft. The house is 2 miles from downtown Austin, so plan accordingly if you’d like to stay there.

What about food?

Lunch is included (there will be vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options). Coffee, tea, water, juices, and some light snacks will be on hand throughout the day. You are responsible for other meals.

Breakfasts and dinners will be on your own. (A dinner out together is planned for Friday.) I will provide a list of great restaurants in a variety of neighborhoods, at a variety of price points.

 

 

What is the schedule?

The schedule is designed to give you a combination of structured time, personal space, and connection with your fellow writers–and some time to enjoy Austin.


7pm – 9pm
Welcome cocktail/mocktail party

6:30am
Meet at Barton Springs for an early AM swim (optional!)

9am – 10:30am
Meditation, journaling (instruction will be given)

10:30am – 12:30pm
AM personal writing session

12:30pm – 2:00pm
Lunch (provided)

2:00pm – 2:30pm
Meditation

2:30pm – 4:00pm
PM personal writing session

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Discussion: how did your day go?

Dinner: on your own

6:30am
Meet at Barton Springs for an early AM swim (optional!)

9am – 10:00am
Meditation, journaling

10:00am – 12:30pm
AM personal writing session

12:30pm – 2:00pm
Lunch (provided)

2:00pm – 2:30pm
Meditation

2:30pm – 4:00pm
PM personal writing session

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Discussion: how did your day go?

Dinner: we will go somewhere fun (and reasonably priced) together! (Not included in registration fee.)

6:30am
Meet at Barton Springs for an early AM swim (optional!)

9am – 10:00am
Meditation, journaling

10:00am – 12:30pm
AM personal writing session

12:30pm – 2:00pm
Lunch (provided)

2:00pm – 2:30pm
Meditation

2:30pm – 4:00pm
PM personal writing session

4:00pm – 5:00pm
Discussion: how did your day go?

Dinner: on your own

6:30am
Meet at Barton Springs for an early AM swim (optional!)

9am – 10:00am
Meditation, journaling

10:00am – 12:00pm
AM personal writing session

12:00pm – 1:00pm Closing conversation and celebratory lunch

PROGRAM ENDS

What should I bring?

Bring your journal, laptop, and comfortable clothes for writing.

If you want to go swimming with me in the mornings, pack a bathing suit and towel. (There will be time after our swim to go back to where you’re staying to shower and change.)

June is a warm but wonderful month in Austin. Temperatures average between 92F/33C and 72F/22C. There could be the odd very hot day (above 95F/35C) or thunderstorm, so be prepared with light layers.

What is included?

4 program days of writing, meditation, and community (and fun…you can’t come to Austin and not have fun)

Meditation instruction and conversation about spirituality

4 lunches (healthy, with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options)

Coffee, tea, juices, water, light snacks throughout the day

Meaningful conversation with Susan and your fellow writers

A chance to finally get your project moving

How much?

The cost is $1500. (Option to pay in three installments.) To be considered, please complete your application here and submit it with a $500 deposit here. If you are not accepted into the program, you will be promptly refunded.

What is the refund policy?

A refund will be offered (minus the deposit) if you cancel by May 7, 2020.

What if I have other questions?

Email us! Happy to answer any questions.

FAQs

How will I figure out where to stay?

Upon acceptance, I’ll give you a list of nearby Airbnbs and hotels.

Where is your house? What neighborhood is it in?

The house is on Powell Circle in South Austin, just south of Oltorf and South First streets.

What is the neighborhood like?

Residential and quiet but very close to restaurants, shops, and the nightlife of South Congress Ave (aka “SoCo.”)

Will there really be room for us all?

The house is a cozy 1500 square-feet, so not huge, but not tiny. There will be spaces in the living room (couch and chairs) for four. Two can work in the two guest bedrooms, each with a desk. Two people can sit comfortably (with their laptops and papers) at the round kitchen table. Two or three can settle on the chairs in the screened-in porch. Two can work in my writing and meditation studio in the backyard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you hook me up with a roommate to help defray some of the expense?

Maybe. The application form has a space to indicate if you’d like a roommate. If there is more than one of you who does, I’ll introduce you.

Will Susan read and critique my work?

No. I will supply the time, space, environment, and rhythm for you to write your heart out, but I am not a writing teacher. Rather, I’m a well-published author who has some sense of the vagaries of the writing life (including the path to being published). I’m happy to share what I’ve learned along the way to support you. If there are those who want to get together in the evenings to share work, that is an option.

I love the idea of a morning swim. Will it be cold? How will I get there and is there a fee?

Barton Springs is a huge in-town spring-fed pool and it is truly my happy place. The water is 68 degrees year-round. There is a huge parking lot. It is a short Uber/Lyft ride from either my neighborhood or downtown Austin. (Especially at 6:30am!) The fee is $5.

Will I have to come to your house in my wet bathing suit?

No, there will be time to get back to wherever you’re staying to shower and change.

How will I get to your house?

Bus, Uber/Lyft, or, perhaps, walk (if you are staying close enough).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where will we go to eat on Friday and how much will it cost?

Not sure of the destination yet, but it will be healthy and reasonable. Plan to spend $20-$30 each for dinner. (Or more if you order drinks.)

What will I do on the other evenings?

I will provide a list of cool restaurants in various neighborhoods at various price points. I’ll also provide a list of great places to hear live music and dance.

Personal Note

I love teaching this program and have taught it many times–but in hard-to-get-to places like the Rocky Mountains and the French countryside. This is the first time I’m teaching it in a non-residential, urban setting and I am thrilled.

We will work hard, make no mistake. You will get a bunch of writing done. We will connect, heart to heart. And you will also have a chance to be in one of the most wonderful cities in the US at a great time of year.

There will be time to relax…exercise…share a meal with delightful new friends…hear music…SLEEP. I look forward to practicing with you.

Details

Start:
June 3
End:
June 7
Event Category: