It’s been a while since I conducted a writing class. If I recall, the last time was 2010, when I was still teaching English to high school homeschoolers at the homeschool support center. Back then, I taught Composition and Grammar to 11th and 12th graders who were preparing for college entrance. I recall always feeling a sense of purpose when teaching them paragraph construction, or how to prepare a mini thesis. Working individually with teens was also fulfilling, especially since most of them were in that critical stage between childhood and young adulthood.
Fast forward to 2016, and I find myself again the teacher of a writing class. Except that this one would be for bloggers and online writers. I held the first “Write Blissfully” writing intensive for bloggers.
Write Blissfully is a whole-day intensive writing workshop meant for bloggers and content creators. With a focus on the writing process, the participants learned the key elements to crafting a meaningful blog post, whether for pleasure or for business or brand-building. (The output of the participants has been or will be posted on their blogs, which I’ll share at the end of the post.)
We were 12 that day, though I had originally meant for the class to be for 8 ladies only. We divided the day into three parts: A short lecture and introduction for the first hour, another 45 minutes to an hour for snacks and a Q & A, and then the whole afternoon for writing.
Our venue was the Savannah Room of the Discovery Suites in Ortigas. Why a business venue instead of the usual cafe or restaurant venue? Well, I meant for the day to be a day of writing. Restos and cafes are great for 3-hour gatherings and talks, but this was an intensive session wherein everyone had to create a blog post fit for publishing.
The group that day was a mix of lifestyle bloggers, and those who owned wellness blogs, business & travel blogs, and parenting blogs. Common issues when it came to blogging were time, finding a writing process or system for crafting blog posts, and editing. We focused on all these aspects during the session, and I crafted a 4-step writing process for each blogger so that they would always be able to craft blog posts on a regular basis.
The question, “How do I figure out what to write?” is the most popular question asked in all my workshops. During this intensive, we didn’t just figure out what to write but also why we should write about certain things, aspects and thoughts. Our intention was to really come up with a process of writing towards our individual strengths, so that anyone — no matter their writing ability — could produce a piece that they could be proud of publishing on their blogs.
During the afternoon, each lady also had time for a one-on-one with me as they completed their writing assignments. While each one submitted their completed blog pieces by the end of the session (their first drafts), we also continued the writing process offline so that each one could benefit from more one-on-one coaching from me.
The result? 11 completed blog posts, some of which the ladies were already able to publish on their blogs, while the others have been reserved for when they decide to launch their blogs. Allow me to share some of the submissions here, which is a sampling of the variety of posts we produced that day:
Jassy’s post: “How I Found Out I Had a Special Needs Child” (Blog type: Parenting, journal/diary) — Jassy is a new blogger, whose goal is to create a space for sharing her story as a special needs mom. Her long term goals for the blog are to grow a community for special needs parents, and to become a reference hub for Filipino special needs resources.
Angeli’s post: “The Crafter’s Guide to Multiple Income Streams” (Blog type: Lead generator, business) — Angeli is known in Manila as “The Bead Lady” and has been teaching crafting workshops both online and offline. Her blog post output from the workshop is meant to inform fellow creatives, and inspire them to create practical income streams so that they can fund their passions and projects.
Karen’s Post: “5 Life Lessons Learned from K-Pop Idols” (Blog type: Lifestyle, youth) — Karen was our youngest participant, and her blog post topic was likewise youthful in its theme! We used a basic “list post” format so that she could create a blog post easily, in spite of her challenges as a writer. Well done, Karen!
I’m so proud of each one you, ladies! I look forward to the blog posts of the others (which I helped them complete from start to finish, copy and editing included). It’s great to be back in the teaching role again, after a long, long time! Maybe I should do another Write Blissful intensive? What do you think?