In January of this year, SER‘s editors received the following letter about one writer’s experience with our Writer’s Regimen program. Liz gave us permission to print her letter here in the hopes that it would encourage more writers to take advantage of the program.
I wanted to drop you a note to let y’all know how the 30-Day Writer’s Regimen worked for me.
A little backstory: My dad died in 2010, and my brother died in 2011. My mom has been gone since 1994, so I no longer had a family. I totally fell apart, and lost my ability to write. I didn’t write for nearly nine months. When I did started writing again, the most I could do was get down a paragraph here or there. It was awful. I’ve been a working, publishing writer for many years, and it created a big existential crisis for me.
Fast forward to last fall: I was starting to feel better and a little more motivated. But it had been so long since I’d been in any regular writing practice, that I couldn’t just sit down and do it. A friend suggested I go back to basics. And then I got the email about the December Writer’s Regimen. At first, I was hesitant (what if it’s too “basic”? What if I don’t do it?), but realized I had nothing to lose. After all even if I just wrote a couple of days of the 30, it would be worth the bargain price of $15.
The first day, I had to really talk myself through, “I am not writing for publication. It doesn’t have to be great. I am just writing to write.” And I did. And I did it the next day and the next day, too . . . and the next thing I knew I was writing a memoir. I now have 45,000 words and have been contacted by an agent.
I really believe the Writers’ Regime was a huge part of letting me shake the pieces loose. Thank you so much for providing this service — I now recommend it to all my students!
Liz is a 4-time Pushcart Nominee, winner of the Minnetonka Review Editor’s Prize, runner-up for the 2007 Juked Fiction Prize, and winner of the 2005 Berkeley Fiction Review‘s Sudden Fiction Competition. Her stories and essays have been published in over 2 dozen magazines, literary journals and anthologies. In 2012, she was awarded a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Learn more at www.lizprato.com.