What I Learned Running a Writers’ Group for 20 Months

In April 2014, I made a tough decision to shut down my online writers’ group, The Literati Writers. The plan was to reopen a few months later. But at the time, I couldn’t really say for certain why I was closing my creative community down, even temporarily.

I had been running the group for 20 months, largely by myself.

After 86 weeks, I told myself that I needed to retool the writers’ group — which was operating on Facebook and by email — so I could continue to best serve my writing clients: self-starters and creatives of all levels from 7 countries who were determined to explore their writing passions with openness, gentle accountability and deep dedication.

But that reason didn’t seem like it was enough to be cutting bait.

Still, I knew deep down that I had to.

So I told myself that I was running out of things to say about writing, too.

Between creating weekly writing prompts, hosting live author interviews, fielding coaching calls, making worksheets and organizing archives of content on our community’s website, I told myself that I was starting to stagnate. That I was tired, and a bit burned out.

All of that may have been true. At least, partially.

But in the following year that swooped by after I shut down the group — and failed to bring it back online, until this past July — I made some powerful discoveries about myself, and my purpose, that brought into focus the deep truth behind why I had to shut down The Literati Writers in 2014.

It wasn’t because I was getting stagnant after 20 months. Or tired of talking about writing. Or burned out from running my writers’ group all on my own.

It’s because I was failing to understand my own role as a teacher.

I was resisting stepping fully into the role of teacher, and fighting to keep hanging onto the other titles that had been carrying me along in my journey of self-employment to date.

When I shut down my group, I was already knee-deep in a process of shedding titles and labels, ideas and expectations that had served me well, but that I had outgrown.

As the shedding process peeled away all that I had known about myself — titles like creative entrepreneur, and service-provider, self-employed-something, and writer, and coach, et cetera — I stood sorta naked and definitely afraid of what might come next.

Honestly, I didn’t know if The Literati Writers would ever come back.

I told myself it would. But in the space of letting it go — if only for a while — I hoped to learn more about who I was and what needed to come next in my journey.

It was teaching that would.

What I Learned Running a Writers’ Group for 20 Months

It took a full year of life, study, travel and work for my realization to come full circle: one that began with closing down my writers’ group in April 2014.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but closing The Literati Writers was how I began to discover that, deep down, I’m really a teacher.

And, that starting The Literati Writers back when I was living in New York City in 2012 was how I first began to step into a role of teaching. That I’ve been moving towards this path for years. And, that teaching is the role I’m meant to step into these days.

In the year that passed between shutting down The Literati Writers and reopening the group, I’ve been doing just that: teaching writing classes, yoga classes, and workshops that revolve around self-expression and storytelling and creativity, and whatever other ideas I can possibly come up with — all to help guide people into happier, healthier relationships to themselves, and others.

When I closed the group in April 2014, I was on the tail end of my 200-hour yoga teacher training, which completely transformed my life.

From new relationships and wonderful friendships to deep self-growth and so much more, my yoga teacher training afforded me the opportunity to become a “teacher” in title for the first time — and, deep down, actually feel like I really was.

And that’s the crux of what I’ve been slowly learning in the last year.

I no longer need to carry the title of writer. Or entrepreneur. Or self-employed whatever.

I’m a teacher.

That’s a big change and a scary truth (that honestly has not a whole lot of bearing on you, of course), but in the scope of my own journey, I’m feeling so excited and finally ready to finally give myself to it.

You may see from now on I won’t be using the title of “writer” so much, as comfortable as I have become with that.

Once upon a time I wanted to become a best-selling author. These days, I’m releasing that old dream. I want to make the space in my heart so that I can step fully into the role of teacher. I still plan to write books in the future, and would still love the experience of working with a traditional publisher to put out a really solid and helpful book that teaches, guides and inspires. Books are really cool like that.

But the dream is different now — it has to be.

I’m not gung-ho on making a best-selling book from scratch. Or hustling copies to readers, doing Kindle promos, none of that. That old passion has served me, and it helped get me here, but I realize it no longer helps to move me in the direction of where I’m heading.

I am a writer deep down. I love writing, and writing will always be important to me. I love words, and writing also kind of saved my life and led me into health, wellness and empowerment. Words really did change my whole life.

But I’m no longer living my life for the writing.

It’s the other way around: writing is there to serve my life.

And, today, writing is one of the things that I’m teaching others — teaching well, teaching lots of, and want to help teach you.

It took a lot of patience and debate to understand if and why I should bring back my writers’ group, The Literati Writers.

There were business considerations, even attachment issues (I lub my clients), but ultimately, rebuilding The Literati Writers from scratch became an absolute no-brainer for the teacher in me who is heartily obsessed with bringing conscientious creatives together into a protective, nourishing space and to empower and uplift people into happier, healthier relationships to their Selves, through writing.

That’s why my writers’ group, The Literati Writers, is now back.

And frankly, it’s better than ever.

Since July, nearly 60 writers from 5 countries have quietly repopulated and rebuilt our creative community, word by word, from the ground up!

In just 4 months, we’ve nearly doubled the total number of writers served from 2012 to 2014.

So, you could say there’s bit of magic happening these days!

And today, I want to invite you to become a part of it.

But, there’s even cooler news to share with you…

The Literati Writers is now a “Pay What You Can” service offering.

That’s right!

Now, you can set your very own quarterly membership price.

On my end, erasing set membership prices feels completely faith-full, way motivating, deeply honoring to our members and full of ease. Frankly, I hate setting prices on things. I just want to teach.

So, this is my solution: Set your own membership price.

Because I trust you to know what’s best for you.

When we were last officially welcoming members in 2014, a quarterly membership cost $325/quarter, or around $108/month.

Now, you can set your own quarterly membership price based on what you can afford, and what will motivate you to feel committed, invested and engaged in your creative passions.

What investment in the thing you say you want more of will actually keep you honest to your writing, and doing more of it?

Is it $100/month? $50/month? $36 a month?

(If you need a barometer, the average membership price for active Literati Writers right now is $180/quarter. I recommend at least $108 – $150 quarter (or, $36 – 50/month), affordable but enough to keep you paying attention and fully invested in your writing passion!).

Friends, I’m all in.

I’m devoted to teaching and completely investing everything I can into helping you improve your relationship to writing, and the writing itself: from writing more, to writing better, and completely redefining how your writing feels and guides your everyday life.

I want you to “feel all” in too.

Committed and giving yourself to what you say you want more of.

Dedicated to the desire and passion that is yearning, calling to you, demanding your attention.

Are you ready?

I’ve been waiting to say this since July: Our doors are officially open!

The Literati Writers is back and ready to welcome you with open arms.

Click here to  Pay What You Can  and join our writing community today.

I hope to see you inside The Literati Writers soon!

Otherwise, teaching you something, somehow, whatever and whenever that may be :)

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