Get Back to Your Writing in 2012: Upcoming Seminar with Theo in Seattle

Not long ago, I reread an essay by Virginia Valian called “Learning to Work.”I’d first read the essay 20 years earlier

Virginia Valian. Photo from WORKING IT OUT (Pantheon 1977)

when I was stuck on page 8 of 100 page masters thesis.  Reading the essay back in 1990, I realized I had what Valian calls “a work problem”–an aversion to settling down to your true work (it’s not the same as ADD–as this is specific to avoiding something that you long to do, rather than avoiding something required of you). And using Valian’s ideas, I was able to get myself from the couch to the desk–and yes, I finished the thesis. You can read the full story of this block breakthrough here.   Since then, I’ve been using Valian’s ideas to lure my students and myself back to the place we want to be: the page.

On January 14th I will be offering a seminar on overcoming your “work problem.”  For most of us, a work problem looks something like checking email or Facebook during the time we said was for writing or keeping our lives so busy we don’t have time for writing. Using methods drawn from Valian, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron and my own writing practice, this workshop will focus on process rather than product. The workshop requires students to commit 15 minutes a day to the assignment for the two weeks leading up to the workshop date of January 14th. The goal of the seminar is to establish a calm (!) and daily (or near daily) writing habit, so that we can enjoy the pleasure of routine writing and see the progress we can make with small but steady effort.

Who: Writers
Where: Good Shepard Center in Wallingford
When: Saturday, January 14th 9-11am
Why: So you can write in 2012 instead of procrastinating!
Cost: 70 dollars
If you’re interested in participating, please send me an email at No previous writing experience required.  This seminar is open to anyone, except for students currently enrolled in the Memoir Certificate Program at the University of Washington.
Not in the Seattle area and still interested?  Send me an email.  I’m planning on offering this course as a telecourse later in the year.

About Theo Pauline Nestor

Author of Writing Is My Drink (Simon & Schuster) and How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed. Learn more about my courses, editing, and coaching at
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8 Responses to Get Back to Your Writing in 2012: Upcoming Seminar with Theo in Seattle

  1. Kelly says:

    Ah, wish I was in Seattle! I was doing pretty well with re-reading Julia Cameron and doing at least 15 min. (it usually turned into 45) a few days a week. But I’ve fallen off the wagon (again). I know all the usual tricks, but it’s good to be accountable, so I’ll be in if you ever do an online course.

  2. Kathleen Hall says:

    Please keep me posted on your e-seminar for later this year. I just saw this information, however live on the opposite coast in Florida. My email is

    Thank you. I have enjoyed reading this article.

  3. Debi says:

    Please keep me in mind when you decide to offer a telecourse later in the year. I’m definitely interested!

  4. Sandra says:

    Theo, I’m interested in the telecourse, too. I need to get back in the habit of writing. Great material you’ve posted here, by the way! I’m working my way through your archives. I’m feeling inspired to write…

    Sandra Philbrook,

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