What People Say

About: Embolden Your Inner Writer

“I have taken many writing courses but none have addressed the psychological process of the writing experience. Embolden Your Inner Writer does just that. Marcia helps participants understand and address the parts of themselves that make writing difficult. She provides a safe environment to explore the inner conflicts that interfere with writing and offers practical tools to help make writing a more enjoyable and relaxing experience. I have greatly benefited from her work and recommend this course to anyone struggling with their writing.”

Rivka Simmons,
Writer, teacher, therapist

About: Creating the Conditions for Flow

“… If you’re stuck, blocked, don’t like your process of getting to your writing/art, then take the class with an open mind and the expectation that you will leave with a beginning new way to help yourself – do it. Also – you will leave with plenty to think about and to do.”

“If you are ambivalent, stuck or blocked, don’t know where to go with your writing this class will help.”

“It unblocked me!”

“As a result of taking your workshop in Truro last fall I have been spending a whole lot more time in my studio. I first changed the space in my studio (got rid of any clutter on horizontal places and put up a lot of white homosote walls for tacking up ideas, photos, cutouts, etc.). I gave myself permission to create “drafts”; I stopped trying to make “finished pieces” as a way to make up for my long absence from my work.

By drafts I mean “sketches” and the sketching allowed me to follow up on ideas and imagery that I was always interested in but didn’t think were important enough to explore. Now I’m making the kind of art that I didn’t even know I was capable of putting together (in narrative or in composition). It was like I knew I had the skill and I was confident in my craft, but I didn’t know how to express my own creative DNA.”

“It helped me immensely.”

“I’m glad I did the workshop.”

“I thought it was most useful to reflect…on my writing process and (learn) how to (develop) those reflections into a positive (outcome)”

“I… learned that there are some exercises I can do, (and) methods of warming up, that will encourage me to get into my studio & begin to do the kind of work I’ve been aching to do. Also I am beginning to see … why I was stuck and I think overall I am confident that I can begin to change the relationship I have to my art making. Good stuff.”

“Thought provoking”

“Process oriented”

The) self reflective writing we did led to some helpful personal discoveries for me. When… we wrote stories,… I think it was brilliant that we didn¹t read these stories out loud to each other. It would have instantly invited our inner critics to the table and the workshop would have become another typical writer’s workshop where we would all have considered ‘improvement’ as the ideal. It also was a great example of practicing the use of the draft! At the end of your workshop, I was aware of how much useful material I had to go home with and I distinctly remember leaving Truro feeling empowered, believing I could help myself get into my studio. “

“I thought your presentation was thoughtful and planned out in a way that worked for me.”

“I appreciated how you responded to …(a student who had difficulties). I don’t think I could have been as patient.”

“It must have been good. It worked. (From a student who broke through her writing block).”

“Please comeback and do another, maybe longer workshop just like/ similar to this one.”

“I liked your saying “a bad draft is better than no draft.” I expanded that to: “A sketch is better than no sketches. Shooting one roll of film is better than no pictures, etc.”

“Thank you for holding this class.”

“Thanks- very helpful in a somewhat challenging group dynamic.”


“It has been rewarding for me to begin to shape an artistic life for myself; it’s something I have always longed for. I do think, Marcia, that you are on to something important and I imagine, something exciting for yourself. I certainly appreciate you and your work.”

“Everybody who has ever taken a writing class knows the old line that you have to “write a lot of crap” in order to get to the good stuff. It’s sort of a cliché. And in a way it has always kept me from writing because I felt as if I didn’t have the energy to slog through crap and then MAYBE find something good as I plugged away.”

About: Censor the Censuring Voices

“Everybody who has ever taken a writing class knows the old line that you have to “write a lot of crap” in order to get to the good stuff. It’s sort of a cliché. And in a way it has always kept me from writing because I felt as if I didn’t have the energy to slog through crap and then MAYBE find something good as I plugged away.

What was particularly useful in …Censor was the notion of “the bad draft” because it wasn’t presented as the thing you have to get through; it was presented as the thing itself. I really liked the idea of celebrating the creation of the bad draft, of giving myself permission to write one, because it didn’t come loaded with any expectations other than its badness!

What I realized was that giving myself permission to write a bad draft was really giving myself permission to write, period. From there it wasn’t much of a leap to figure out that there are no “bad” drafts, just drafts.”

“If you’re looking for a class that isn’t the same old thing, this might be the one for you. The class is not a “how to,” it’s more like a “why not?” If you’ve had it up to here with instructions to “write every day” and “keep a journal,” and you know all the stuff you “should” be doing but maybe aren’t, this class can help you take a look at why you might not be. From there, you can learn some concrete steps to make your writing process more fun and enriching.”

The very fact that we were free not to engage in the process (such as if homework felt too much like a burden we had total permission to skip it) was a great option. I think because that option was there explicitly, I never opted to take it. In other classes I just resented assignments, and never completed all of them, as I did in this class.”

“I am definitely feeling more optimistic after this class… I find myself starting projects instead of avoiding them. I also feel like even daily correspondence in the form of emails is coming quicker and with more confidence.”

Contact us at:

The Successful Muse, 1675 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 617.868.0660


Posted on February 1st, 2009 by Marcia  |  No Comments »