I’m the author of Girly, creator and editor of This Is Not Chick Lit, and writer of Boys for Pele which I keep promising is coming soon and it is coming soon! There have been some weird delays—weird weird things that you are not gonna BELIEVE when I finally explain it–but this book, Pele, like the album she is based on and the goddess the album is based on: she does her own thing, to an extreme. She is on her own time. I am not in control here, I work on her time, she doesn’t work on my time.
ALSO, in the past I created two acclaimed writing series for women literary writers in NYC, and I created my own business in 2003, Elizabeth’s Workshops, which were classes with their own unique right-brain based methods and totally not-snotty, no-BS-lit-world vibe, in Brooklyn, which I shut down in 2008 because it turns out that running a business is freaking exhausting.
I have a BA from Yale, an MFA from Cornell, and an MA in Creativity and Arts Education from San Francisco State.
SO: While I don’t have regular classes anymore, I still do one-on-one writing coaching and book editing for people I like.
I still pretty much can’t stand the contemporary US literary world and I stay far far far away. My writing coaching and editing is in the school of creating the most truthful and beautiful and efficient and transformative piece of art/magic, NOT in getting some publishing achievement notch ticked off. My most talented and genius writer-students and writer-friends often don’t get published and the whole thing is just so icky to me. There should be like, billboards of their faces up and down I-95 as far as I’m concerned. Publishing and talent/beautiful incredible writing are really far apart right now—I am lucky to live in the realm of the latter and avoid the former. (Hopefully I don’t get zapped by some evil snotty editorial assistant assigned to this task when people suggest the Emporer’s new clothes publicly on this one, but it’s not like I haven’t done it before.)
As far as working with me: I’m here to help you be a better, happier, stronger, clearer, more visible writer—-whether publishing falls in line or not is something I would suggest taking to a shaman, because seriously WHO KNOWS how that stuff works? It seems so random—although work that stays well within contemporary reality and hegemony describing the status concerns of white upper middle class Americans is what gets most published/acclaimed/rewarded. So if I were a “shaman” trying to get results for writers who want publishing acclaim more than they want to nail the Ineffable Gorgeous Book Thing, I’d say go for that stuff. (lol this type of “shaman” is out there, offering weight loss and publishing tips, beware!).
The Ineffable Thing of writing a book is: really tuning in and pulling in a real book, something palpably alive, from whatever dimension these mysterious creatures–books–come from. This is something I definitely know how to do.
In the past, I had very limited time for 1-on-1 consultations so I only really offered them to clients I already knew as students in my classes. Right now, I provide writing coaching and book editing for select writers so go ahead and contact me if you’re interested.
If you want to get on the earlybird deal list for future classes or coaching discounts, please sign up here for my Secret Newsletter, which right now is an extremely rare thing (like I think the last one was 2010? And I can never remember the password for the newsletter list, probably because I hate what promotion/marketing has turned into so much that my subconscious just rolls its eyes the second I think the word “newsletter”).
The urge to write something palpably real, to pull in the Ineffable Thing, is so beautiful and I wish you all the luck and love in the world if this is what you are trying to do. Not easy. Totally worth it.
boom! woke up like this!
Photos: © 2010 Joan Beard