Learn - Play - Explore - Geek Out
Minimum Viable Support
...sometimes looks like a great conversation.
"Minimum viable support" is the idea that the biggest hangups can be overcome by surprisingly small efforts. Case in point: Just having a Zoom line open while I'm finishing my day has kept a small but savvy band of writers going for over a year now. And regularly connecting with some of my closest colleagues has led to incredible breakthroughs for us all—especially when we compare notes across fiction and nonfiction, kid lit and adult audiences, writer and editor, and all of our varying stages of life.
That's the idea behind this space.
Join me and my friends for a weekly 90 minute webinar (or grab the recording if you can't make it live), that's less like a content funnel/presentation/lecture and more like sharing a giant desk with me while we geek out over something that's going to help us all get better at, more comfortable with, and closer to our own writing practices.
What to Expect...
What Writers Need to Know
Let's talk about why AI feels like a threat to writers—and if it actually should. Topics include: reasons AI makes us nervous, what that tells us about our perspective on writing and our own abilities, the progression of content and "the business of writing" to this point in time, future-casting, and the sneaky little competition factor that I think we can work around.
Let's talk about why ChatGPT is taking off—and what that appeal can teach us about our own access to writing. Topics include: trust factors, perceived authority, sunk cost vs no cost, and the sense of wonder we have with AI writing abilities that I think we can regain in our own writing practices.
Let's talk about how we can leverage ChatGPT and similar tools to make writing suck less. Topics include: efficiency hacks, unique use cases for writers of all sorts, getting started with AI without getting lost, and the secret sauce that I think will seriously change the writing game in the best way.
Watch Kim and B use ChatGPT to refine their Reluctant Drafter book project proposal live, during the webinar. No big deal.
Who to Expect...
Unlike the other ways I work with people, this webinar series may be taught with or by other folks. But not just anyone—this is my chosen family. A chaotic little pod of neurodivergent creative geniuses who are tired of struggling through life separately.
We all have our own strengths and sweet spots, where we can show up with max energy at almost no physical or mental cost. And we all have spaces that melt our brains and make us hate everything. This event is powered by the sweet spots.
When you sign up for a webinar series, you're not just paying me. You're bringing financial resources to our collective table that keeps our individual creative work going. And when we show up to a session, we're bringing our collective wisdom and lived experience as writers and editors to you as a resource that can keep your creative work going.
Because we're all working from our sweet spots, we're splitting the income from this event evenly, no questions asked. Maybe two of you show up and we all get a cup of coffee and some great conversations out of it. Maybe this sparks a movement and we all get our needs met in one incredible day per week. Maybe this becomes something we geek out about one day, as a model for other folks to form their own creative "pod." In any case, we're grateful for you and excited to see where we all go together!
And so, with no further rambling...
Meet Your Lead Geeks
Each month's series will vary (that's kind of the fun of it), but here's who you can expect to see at least one of when you join.
Brannan (or "B," she/her)
The nonfiction one. She's a work from home hipster (having started before it was cool). She grew from taking any gig within email’s reach to tackling thirty ghostwriting projects in two years to setting some serious boundaries—because, woah. Today, her expertise is in the author experience, helping folks see the power of their stories and tap into the creative flow that will bring them into the world.
Kim Kessler (she/her)
The fiction story structure one. From her website: In October 2014, Kimberly Kessler quit her corporate job to pursue her best life. She'd realized time is truly our most precious commodity and needed to spend hers differently. Since that day she gained a son through open adoption and got to add TEDx speaker to her resume. And along the way, she discovered her sleeping superpower: storytelling. In 2017, she combined her love of stories and helping others and became a Story Grid Certified Editor. Now, as one-fifth of the Story Grid Editor Roundtable Podcast, Kim has the divine privilege of nerding-out every week studying story. She is obsessed with the internal genres and specializes in helping writers craft authentic character arcs in any setting. Her favorite clients are hungry to learn and bring their full authentic selves to the collaborative process. Nothing is more rewarding than digging in together to uncover the breakthroughs they need. She continues to pursue her own storytelling passions, writing novels and producing short films. Her favorite stories use humor to explore and cope with grief and heartache, and find the redemptive perspective on pain. Whatever the medium, her solemn oath is that any story she tells, whether real or made-up, will always be true. Her novel According To Plan will debut on October 3, 2019--five years to the day since she took that first leap. Oh yeah, and shameless plug: in 2016, her husband Adam quit his corporate job to be a full-time stand-up comedian. It’s never too late to write and live your best story.
Ash Van Otterloo (he/they)
The MG/YA one. From their website: Hi! I’m Ash! I’m a middle-grade author, classroom speaker, and writing mentor. I grew up in Southern Appalachia (and lived near Chattanooga for eighteen years)! Now I live near the Olympic Peninsula with my wonderful, incorrigible children. I have an old SPCA dog named Oberon, a ball python called Sophie Hatter, and one Sirius The Black Cat. Strange plants, riddles, campfires, and insects are some of my favorite things! I also love listening to people’s life stories, especially if their experiences are different than mine. How do you say your last name? van-AH-ter-loo Pronouns I’m trans/nonbinary, which means my gender doesn’t fall neatly into the categories of “man” or “woman.” My pronouns are they/he! Hobbies and Tidbits I love music, and I have a degree in music performance. I enjoy delving into odd bits of history, horror movies, reading about natural science and psychology, and I am particularly fond of plant identification and botany. I’m neurodivergent, and I find spending time in the woods recharges my energy better than anything.
Plus: Meet the Enablers
We couldn't do any of this without Renee and Arianna. They don't have websites yet, but as soon as they do we'll link them here. B has worked with them both since the dawn of WAH time, and trusts them with her life. Renee is brilliant at anything technical, as well as ads and social and systems (oh my!). Arianna is the admin brain of the bunch, with the unique superpower of being able to listen to you whine about your chaos, then sort it back out into steps you can take to calm it. If anything runs smoothly, it's because of these two. If it's janky, then I messed with it before they could come through and fix it (and hang tight, in that case—they'll be around to smooth it out soon).
Tell Your Story
Let's explore what AI means for writers
Session 1: Tackle fears about AI and writing and see if they really do hold weight.
- Session 2: Untangle the ChatGPT phenomenon—why it's so damn fun (and how we can learn make writing feel that way again too)
- Session 3: Let's walk through known ways to outsource the tasks of Being a Writer to AI, without losing your identity as a writer.
- Session 4: Watch us refine our book proposal live, using ChatGPT.
Truth & Fiction
Let's explore ties between nonfiction and fiction.
Specific topics still TBD
Both fiction and nonfiction session leaders to offer perspective
Fiction can help nonfiction be more narrative and structured
Nonfiction can help fiction become more reader-focused
Topics may span film studies, chapter studies, scene work, or conceptual deep-dives
Submit your questions in advance to help drive the topics and make the most of your session(s).
Let's explore whatever we're geeking out about.
60-minute teaching sessions, chat welcome/camera view optional.
Monthly themes—pop in based on interest
30 minute Q&A cushion built in after the material is covered
Exclusive recordings available for attendees only (no vault storage)
Multiple group leaders who are there because the topic and space is energizing, not obligatory. Geek out space is happy space.
- Built out as a series, though you can grab single sessions if needed.
Bonus Open Q&A for 5th Week Months
The Fine Print
We don't promise outcomes, only support through discovery.