Now that I’m basically, almost officially, between books (what with Book 1 mostly revised and still sitting with some beta readers, and Book 2 mostly nonexistent, except for some notes in Google Docs), I need a new project.
So, I wrote myself a course. Kind of. I wrote myself a syllabus.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
Bewitching the Craft
Last year, I started a bunch of different learning projects. I wanted to be a better writer. I wanted to know more about magic and witchcraft. I wanted to learn more about herbs and gardening. So, I bought a bunch of books, courses, and virtual workshops. I was super excited. I did ALL THE THINGS. For a few weeks at a time. Then I got overwhelmed, and busy, and forgetful… and each of these things fell to the side.
Eventually I realized the same thing I realized in my first semester of college: I need structure. I can’t handle an open syllabus and a list of readings with a vague expectation of completion in the distant future.
Luckily, I’ve also been a teacher. So, I’m more than capable of creating my own lesson plan to build the structure I need around the learning I want.
That’s what this is. Feel free to follow along, or adapt for your own interests.
If you’re interested the same topics that I am, I’ve provided links where you can buy the same resources I’m using (** I am an Amazon affiliate, but I have no connection to the authors or other resources).
First, I went through all of the materials that I’d collected, but hadn’t finished, and prioritized the ones that had been most engaging and connected to my overall goals (becoming a better writer – specifically, a better fantasy writer, who writes about witches in a way that comes across as authentic and relatable).
Then, I developed a goal statement that linked all of the topics at hand: To study the craft of writing and how it intersects with magic and witchcraft through the lens of the writing process and the Wheel of the Year. What this means to me is that I want to look at ways that the craft of writing is similar to witchcraft, and I want to look at both crafts in terms of a natural cycle. The Wheel of the Year and the Hero’s Journey are both depicted in this way, with ebbs and flows that correlate to shifting energy and growth.
With this in mind, I started breaking up the readings into manageable chunks and putting them on a calendar. A Spell in the Wild starts in September, and since that’s the traditional beginning of the school year, and the next upcoming month without travel plans, I started there. I tried to align the readings so that similar topics would be addressed in multiple ways each month, but I must also admit that since I haven’t read all the way through all of the resources, for some texts I did ultimately just go a chapter a week, in the order of the book contents.
I set up the calendar with daily assignments, so that each week includes: something to watch, a resource text, a fiction mentor text, and writing prompts. I have no intention of necessarily completing each assignment on the day I have it listed, but this should help me make weekly progress with the flexibility to learn in a way that suits my attention span, mood, and time constraints each day. I will post a progress check each Friday for accountability.
If you’d like to follow along, these are the materials that inspired me:
- Alden, Temperance: Year of the Witch
- Kenower, William: Fearless Writing
- Lyte, Fire: The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft
- Tarbuck, Alice: A Spell in the Wild
- Writing with Maggie Stiefvater 2020
- The Herbal Academy: Introductory Herbal Course
- Heather Demetrios: 31 Days of Writing
- Optional tie-ins: tarot, sigils. runes
A Spell in the Wild
|Tarot||Fiction Reviewed||p19-48||Progress Check|
The Dabbler’s Guide to Witchcraft
|Tarot||Fiction Reviewed||p4-27||Progress Check|
|Tarot||Fiction Reviewed||p7-26||Progress Check|
Year of the Witch
Intro to Herbalism
|Tarot||Fiction Reviewed||Unit 1||Progress Check|
This month’s readings and videos are mostly introductions, most of which I’ve read or watched before. But some of these got left behind quite a while ago, so I felt like it was best to start at the beginning.
On Tuesdays, I’m going to continue with my tarot study through pulling various spreads and analyzing whatever comes up. If I have time, I’ll try and get back to those worksheets I was developing for Witchery 101, but that’s not going to be a priority.
On Wednesdays I’m going to check in with novels I’m reading as mentor texts. Currently, I’m reading Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. (The link will take you to Amazon. I got mine through Paperbackswap.com.)
If nothing else, this guarantees I always have something to post about. So, yay for consistency!
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