I’m fully focused on a summer writing school I’m planning for January 2018, right here in Mt Victoria, Wellington, New Zealand. And when I say planning, I mean that in a rather formal sense.
Swerving offline to teach writing
I’ve been teaching online for nearly 20 years, one way or another. I’m not knocking MOOCs or virtual courses! I’ve done great things online, and I still get a buzz from the creative component of online teaching.
But last month, the Manawatu Writers’ Festival reminded me just how much I love teaching courses about writing — in the flesh, to real live people, in the same room as me. So I tried for the umpteenth time to book the space I’ve had my eye on for years, but never managed to secure. Bingo! It has new management, a new website, a calendar of bookings, a contact email that worked, and an efficient person who said yes instead of no.
Motivation and venue collided in a happy crunch, and I quickly grabbed some suitable dates, and got a deadline for my new venture.
Project management skills: useful for any project
So the start of this project (a 4-day Write Into Life summer school in January 2018) was seemingly random, accidental, impulsive, irrational. If so, re-examining the concept might show that it’s doomed to failure. In fact this little dream has been brewing for years, but when the moment was right, the decision happened in a flash.
And now it’s urgent! The first workshop is only 17 weeks away.
I was halfway through creating an online course called Fix That Novel: use project management skills to finish the book you’ve been writing… or just dreaming of. For now, the online version of that course is on the back shelf. But I don’t want it to feel neglected, so I’m going to tackle my summer school as a formal project, and practise what I preach.
No phase of project management will be bypassed in this project: I want it to run beautifully, and it will. I’ll keep you posted.