Write a Book and Change Your Life
An Online Creative Writing Course
On September 13, 2001, I stood in front of my multicultural lit class assigning a response essay. The class was small, five students, each of them enrolled in the Technical Communication program. Because I taught all but one of their courses, we’d become a sort of tribe. I remember being excited about the assignment. I don’t remember what I was wearing. I do remember I was growing my hair out, and that I was worried about the pregnancy weight I was putting on and whether or not something I’d elected to call “Second Lunch” was doing me any favors.I remember being tired. It was a Thursday.
The door opened, and the college’s office administrator stepped into the room. It was a first. She was unable to meet my eyes. She led me to the Dean’s office, where two plainclothes detectives waited for me.
They told me that my husband had shot and killed himself on 9/11, two days earlier.
In the days and then months that followed, my brain spiraled and circled out of control, and the only way I could calm myself, distract myself, heal myself, was to write. Not memoir, of course. My husband’s suicide was too raw and personal. Besides, I understood on a cellular level that the only way I would survive was to find a way to think about something else.
So I wrote fiction. One novel. And then another. I rebuilt myself from the ground up, better and stronger than before (cue “Bionic Man” theme song here). Through creative writing, I accessed a resilience I didn’t know I possessed. I discovered faith in myself and the people around me, shed judgmental attitudes and fear, became a better parent, and fell more comfortably into the fabric of life. As an unexpected gift, I also rediscovered my sense of humor. Shaped like a whoopee cushion, it had been lost behind a big shard of broken heart that I was able to sweep away with the help of rewriting my life.
And the wildest part? The books that I wrote sold, and continue to sell, to the tune of tens of thousands of copies.
In my grief, I had stumbled across what novelists have known for centuries: if handled correctly, your life experiences—the pleasure and the pain, the secrets and the sighs—create bestselling fiction. David Copperfield is Charles Dickens’ public grappling with his haunting childhood experiences, including a complex, troubled relationship with his father. Tim O’Brien is a Vietnam War veteran whose fictional The Things They Carried follows a Vietnam War veteran named Tim O’Brien. Jeanette Winterson acknowledges that her novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is her own story of growing up gay in a fundamentalist household in the 1950s. Sherman Alexie weaves fact into fiction in his novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian.
The list goes on because as I’ve come to discover, the best-kept secret in writing a novel is that every author calls on, crystallizes, and shades his or her life experiences to craft a book, whether they’re writing world-bending sci fi or a thinly-veiled autobiography. It is precisely those most conflict-ridden moments of our lives—the tragedies, humiliations, and terrors—that make the best stories. Yet, while there exists a wealth of resources explaining how to turn memory into memoir, there are no guides for transforming fact into fiction.
Welcome to Rewrite Your Life, the online class that shows you how to select and then write your most significant story, the one that helps you to evolve and invites pure creativity into your life, the one that people line up to read. I will guide you through the redemptive process of writing a book that recycles and transforms your most precious resources―your own emotions, trials, and tribulations.You will learn how to write the book that only you can write.
This 10-module, entertaining, and interactive program gives you:
Each module in this 10-module program begins with a narrated, instructional video. During the video, you'll complete practice activities designed to guide you to write the book you're meant to write in manageable chunks. Supplemental videos and articles are also included, and there is dedicated space to discuss your progress with your classmates if you chose.
To keep the process entertaining, Rewrite Your Life includes raw, vulnerable, and funny personal experience as well as anecdotes from best-selling writers who’ve mined their own lives for stories. The result is a uniquely engaging, practical tool for the person looking to harvest their life experiences to write an amazing book.
Write that book. The time is now.
Ten percent of all Rewrite Your Life tuition will be distributed among these highly-rated charities: the Environmental Defense Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union, Unbound, and the Animal Welfare Institute.
"When I signed up for Jessica Lourey’s fiction writing workshop, I was at a low point. I longed to write a novel, but I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t think I had any stories worth telling. Jess helped me realize that I have a lifetime of experiences just waiting to be tapped into, a lifetime of stories, characters, settings and plot twists. I just needed to remember. In short, Jess helped me start writing from my heart." -Tina M.
Jess Lourey (rhymes with "dowry") is best known for her
Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned
multiple starred reviews from
Library Journal and Booklist,
the latter calling her writing "a splendid mix of humor and suspense."
Jess also writes
YA adventure, literary fiction, and thrillers. She is a
tenured professor of creative writing and sociology and a recipient of The
Loft's Excellence in Teaching fellowship. She delivered the "
Rewrite Your Life" TEDx Talk and leads transformative writing workshops all over the world. When not traveling, read, writing, or hanging
out with her family, you can find her dreaming of her next story.
Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction, which walks readers
through the process of transforming personal experience into
page-turning fiction, released May 2017.Her website can be found at www.jessicalourey.com.
"Jess is a rare double talent. She is an outstanding writer. Just
as remarkable is her ability
to teach writing to others. She clearly communicates the essence of good writing, whether it is giving a novice writer broad guidance on how to structure a
novel or write sentences that grab the reader's attention, or working
with experienced writers on the fine art of wordsmithing to improve
elements of pace, suspense or character development." -Stephen M. Terrell, Author of
Stars Fall, a legal thriller
"Jess Lourey has been through a lot—and she’s completely upfront telling you about it. That authentic, honest and generous voice created a safe space where I could open up to the dignity and power of my own stories. Even better, her methods taught me how to extract emotional truths and use them to give past sufferings a better ending." -Marcia A.
Enroll in this online creative writing workshop to learn how to write the book that only you can write.
This course puts the transformative and profitable power of novel writing in your hands. It combines the science of narrative and expressive therapy with the craft of writing, keeping it fresh with a juicy vein of “I’ll show you mine so you can write yours.” The result is your prescription for health and renewal from wherever you’re at, something you can accomplish anywhere, anytime, cheaply, alone or with others.
The time is now. Take charge of your story. Write the book you're meant to write.
"Creativity takes courage."