New Home Forums Philosophy, Mindset & Preparation Transformations and eCourse Ambitions

5 replies, 4 voices Last updated by  Ranger Boss Lady 4 years, 8 months ago
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    Judy Brenneman

    Breakthroughs I want to facilitate for my students:

    * bravery: increased willingness and confidence in writing, in sharing writing
    * willingness to risk: it’s all an experiment!
    * discovery: by writing (and opening themselves to creativity, etc.), they discover their voice, discover their ability to find creative ways to tell the stories of place/people/etc.
    * perseverance: writing is rewriting is rewriting is rewriting
    * versatility: all kinds of formats/media (write short, medium, long; prose & poetry, scripts, etc.)

    Creative ways to facilitate those breakthroughs:

    Thinking of challenges & experience-based:
    * Resistance challenge? (Getting to know your Inner Critic/etc.)
    * Building your writing block (carving it into something beautiful)
    * Writing exercises (I have LOTS of these)
    * Story swaps? (e.g., pair up, swap what you’ve written with your partner; various exercises to do with partner’s draft—add/modify/etc. (not same as critiquing)
    * Storming the castle (w/ Dragon’s help)
    * Fine Feast (words/word play/sounds & other techniques?)
    * Opening the gate (invitation to begin, etc.)
    * Image and words (writing exercise?)
    * This sign of mine (some way to post their draft on an image that looks like a wayside sign or similar)
    * Climbing up/escaping from the turret/garret
    * Dragon’s Lair Coffeeshop (forum, draft exchange, quiet writing space)
    * Assoc. w/ scriptwriting: performance (video, audio)

    What eCourse experience I feel most inspired and confident to create right now? — which evolved into more of an overall plan…

    Walk in the Park and Day Trek—but I also see how to use Treks and Quests as modules within a larger context, i.e., I have an eCourse Adventure in my head, but I am not going to create it all at once. I will create parts of it—some short, some longer—and students can enter at different defined points, for a single module or more than one module. That gives them the option to return (i.e., they’re a returning customer, which is always nice); to pick what they feel they need at that time (or what most interests or intrigues them at that time); and lets them control time/budget (they can do a lot or a little). This approach also lets me control the complexity and cost of “build-out”; I will be able to launch individual pay-for-them modules more quickly than if I try to create the entire universe first. Eventually, I’ll have a universe of courses, logically connected (in both theme and recommended sequence). I can bundle modules or use some modules as jumping off points for longer Treks or Quests.

    What transformation/skills to build eCourse around and share w/ world?

    Discovery, Willingness to Risk, and Bravery (thinking about this in context of walk-in-park)

    Titles I’ve used in the past:
    Mind Magic: Your Brain on Creativity
    A Pocketful of Creativity
    Fanning the Creative Spark

    And for anyone who’s interested, here’s the 100-word description I used the last time I presented a breakout session on this:

    Creativity is the mysterious source of innovation and invention. When we’re under pressure—deadlines, budgets, the need to get it right, right now—creativity can plummet. We fall back on the same old ideas and approaches. Our stories become stale, and our visitors stop paying attention. Accessing and expanding our creativity leads to improved productivity, more effective problem solving, and superior interpretive stories, regardless of the medium. Through individual and group exercises and facilitated discussion, we’ll explore a pocketful of fast, fun, and practical creativity techniques, from the quietly reflective to the outrageous.

    Thanks for reading 🙂


    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Hi Judy, i am loving where you are going with this.

    First thoughts:

    I think group challenges will be your courses best friend.

    I think giving your students creative boundaries will be your best friend (time restriction, perhaps 3 topic suggestions and the invitation to share their work when they’re done).

    I could see your lesson formula being:

    Lesson, technique, call to action to do creative exercise (challenge), share with community.

    I don’t know enough about your course and teaching approach, but I would caution letting students jump in at different points (modules). You are facilitating a transformation and in order to do that, you need to take them from a starting point to a clear ending point. If you break each module up as individual courses, it’s much more difficult to do that.

    Rather, I would suggest creating a series of mini-courses (Park/Treks) that offer a SPECIFIC outcome. “How to be a better storyteller,” “Overcoming Creative Blocks,” “How to Make a Boring Topic Exciting,” etc….

    That’s just a suggestion, happy to discuss more…

    As for your titles:

    You need it to be extremely clear WHO this is for and WHAT it’s about. In the titles and description you have, it seems like it’s a course on creativity, rather than (creative) writing. Creativity is very vague and vast. Whereas, you want to narrow in on EXACTLY what this is for and about.

    So as you’re thinking of titles and tag lines, keep that in mind.

    All in all, awesome work. I’m really excited about this. I can see what you’re creating becoming extremely valuable for many of the people climbing the mountain with you!




    Judy Brenneman

    Hey Bradley –

    Yes, excellent observations and suggestions. I realized I already do group challenges in the workshops and retreats, so I think that will be relatively easy to port over to online stuff.

    re: titles–these are titles I’ve used for breakout sessions at the nat’l interp conference, where the market is well-defined and they already know me for my interp writing stuff, but these titles are definitely not ones to use for my online course names. I’ll fuss with those a lot (I know, because I always do). I also need to figure out how to make it clear that the primary focus overall (i.e., for when they decide to sign up for trek (or whatever), based on the brilliant walk-in-the-park freebie) is writing. The creativity stuff I do is usually embedded partway through a longer workshop (when it’s not a conference breakout session). So kind of maybe a sequence issue, too.

    Multiple entry points is something I want to experiment with, but the way I’m thinking about it has many things that are “do this one/this series first”–not exactly analogous to the Base Camp and Reflection Pond you’re using, but similar. And it may not work at all; I may end up ultimately with a Great Adventure that follows the same sequence of my 2- or 4-day workshops. Need to draw it/write it/test it to know for sure.

    Occurs to me as I’m typing this that another reason to restrict entry points/sequence is that it will probably make it easier for me to keep track of participants and provide support they need without making myself crazy.

    Okay, gotta get back to the paying gig of the day – thanks again for your feedback and support!


    Akasha Madron

    Hi Judy,

    a few nights ago I wrote some feedback and then my computer glitched and it all disappeared.  So I’m hoping I can remember all that I said.

    I love that bravery, creativity and perseverance are major parts of your breakthroughs.  So many of us are struggling with all of those these days.

    In the “creative ways to facilitate breakthroughs section of your post:

    I love the castle and dragon imagery a lot!  I got so excited reading the different headings.

    Storming the castle, fine feast, and this sign o’mine are some of my favourites.

    I couldn’t help but think that getting to know your inner critic could translate theme-wise, into dealing with your royal counsel.  Kings and Queens had to always deal with their advisors who were duplicitous, complaining and blocking and fighting for influence etc.  I said it so much better the first time.  I can’t remember the proper name for the advisors group.  Of course some were truly advisers  and I’m sure discerning who to trust in what way etc was part of being King or Queen.

    and then with” building your writer’s block and carving it into something” I couldn’t help but think of that as a way to get out being trapped in the dungeon.

    I could really use a Dragon’s Lair Coffee shop right now, I want to go there!

    And Story Swap sounds so much fun.  Everyone can be more brave when they know they are not alone.

    You could utilize secret passages in some way because all castles have hidden doors and shortcuts through the walls.

    Utilize the underground escape tunnels for something  and the have different guard towers at different directions be different deep dives or focuses, though in this case high climbs.

    Or the towers are different visioning far distant topics and the underground secret rooms and tunnel escapes could lead to deep dives/special focus topics.

    And of course traveling to many places with one’s dragon companion could be the day treks and quests you mention.  And the quests are also good thematic ways to incorporate other people who are taking the course so there is some sharing or interaction in a structured way.

    I look forward to seeing where you take this and I hope you have fun with it.








    Judy Brenneman

    Akasha –

    Thanks so much for all these amazing and wonderful ideas! As I was reading your post, I started seeing how SO many of my ideas can fit together — really lovely and exciting and I am SOOO grateful you took the time to share your ideas with me 🙂


    P.S. And this weekend (wherein I did not get any of the eCourse stuff done I’d hoped to do, thanks to crashing deadlines) I started thinking that Dragon’s Lair needs to serve alcohol and a lot of chocolate…


    Ranger Boss Lady
    Mountain Guide

    Well if thats the case @judyb better you invite this ranger over to your Dragon’s Lair!

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