From Writer to Author
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From Writer to Author

How to Actually Finish Your Book
0.0 (0 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
5 students enrolled
Created by Chad Frisk
Last updated 11/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $45 Discount: 78% off
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  • 38 mins on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Differentiate between potentially meaningful ideas and dead-ends.
  • Write consistently, even when they don't feel like it.
  • Work through writer's block.
  • Turn messy drafts into increasingly coherent products.
  • Develop a variety of techniques to overcome the tendency to give up.
View Curriculum
  • Students need the desire to write, an interest in exploring their own psychology, and a willingness to work through pain and difficulty.

You've always wanted to write a book. Maybe you've even started one. But for some reason you've never been able to finish.

You have ideas. You have skills. You have a love of writing, and you certainly have the desire to be an author.

What you don't have is a book--and you're ready to change that.

The problem is that the real barriers to finishing a book are inside of you.

"That's a stupid idea."

"I don't feel like writing."

"This sucks."

Writers tell themselves these things all of the time. The secret is that so do authors. Authors just keep going anyway.

What's the difference between a writer and an author? The way I think of it, a writer is someone who dreams of writing a book; an author is someone who actually has.

My name is Chad Frisk, and while I'm by no means a famous author, I have finished a number of books, including Direct Translation Impossible: Tales from the Land of the Rising Sun, and This is Not a Sutra: A Trial and Error Guide to Meditation for Secular Thinkers

I struggled immensely to do so. Most days, I didn't want to write. Most of the time, I didn't know what was going to happen next. I was often convinced that the books were so incoherent that my only choice was to give up.

The fact is that I still don't want to write everyday. I still don't know what's going to happen next, and I still do want to scrap my books all of the time. With the help of a number of teachers, however, I've figured out a way to move forward anyway. In this course, we will dive deeply into the psychological barriers that stand between me (and you) and a finished book. 

More importantly, you will learn techniques I've developed to move past each of them.

Here's a quick outline of the contents of the course.

There are three modules with a total of 24 lectures. The modules are as follows:

The Idea Phase--you'll learn about two common blocks that keep would-be authors from starting, and ways around them.

Drafting--You'll learn three specific psychological challenges you may face during the drafting phase, and how to work with them.

Revising--You'll learn three more mental obstacles that appear during the revision stage, and why they don't have to scuttle your project.

The modules are mostly video lectures, with a few PDFs detailing specific techniques I've borrowed from other established creative professionals.

I've also included a list of resources (books and pertinent blog posts) that have helped me go from aspiring writer to dedicated author. Feel free to peruse the list if you're looking to continue your exploration when this course is over.

Who Shouldn't Take This Course

It's important for me to say that this course will not appeal to everyone.

Digging into your personal psychology can be very hard. It's painful to shine a light on your insecurities, and I totally understand why someone might not be ready or interested in doing so. 

This course, however, goes straight for those insecurities. The content can at times be unforgiving. It's not my intention to be cruel; it is, however, my experience that actually finishing books and becoming the author you are capable of becoming is a very challenging, often painful process. I think that the rewards are well worth the pain, but that might not be true for everyone. 

If you're prepared to look closely at your reasons for not finishing, and to do the work necessary to change that, this course will offer you the resources to do so. 

If that sounds like something you're interested in, then I'll be excited to have you in this course! I'll do my best to give you the tools to take charge of your own writing process. What you do with them is then up to you. 

Hope to Talk Soon,


Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for those who have never been able to finish a book. They are passionate about writing. They have aspirations to finish a book. They care about their craft. But for some reason they have been unable to do the work necessary to finish.
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Curriculum For This Course
Welcome to the Course
1 Lecture 02:44

A roadmap of the course to come. Students will learn what to expect in future modules, and how to get the most out of them. Recommended for those who like to have an overview of their courses so that they can mentally prepare.

Preview 02:44
The Idea Phase
6 Lectures 07:30

Overview of the Idea Phase. Students will encounter two primary obstacles many face before writing a book, and the names of techniques for working with them.

Preview 01:39

A brief talk about how we often shoot down our ideas out of fear that they won't be good enough.

"That's a stupid idea."

See the attached PDF describing a set of questions you can use to quickly determine whether an idea has potential or not.

The Echo Test

Description of the trap that is 'too many ideas'--or, an inability to commit to something and actually work through it.

"I have too many ideas."

Description of a mindset that may help you overcome the tendency to jump from idea to idea.

The Odysseus Technique

Students will review the concepts in this module, prepare for the module on the draft.

Summary of the Idea Phase
9 Lectures 13:09

Overview of the draft module. Recommended for those who like to see the whole picture before diving into the details.

Preview 02:00

Description of the trap that is needing to be inspired to write. 

"I don't feel like writing."

A technique that may help you sit down to work.

The Low Bar Technique

A description of the inevitable appearance of writer's block, and a reflection on both why it happens and what it doesn't say about you as a writer.

"I'm stuck."

A PDF with a technique for outlining borrowed from Shawn Coyne and his work The Story Grid.

The Skeleton Technique

A PDF with a technique from improv teacher Patricia Ryan Madson and her book Improv Wisdom to help you let go of perfection and get writing.

Opening the Box

A description of the impulse to self-destruct mid-project when it doesn't seem to be coming together.

"This sucks."

A mindset borrowed largely from tech start-ups to take the pressure off of you to immediately produce a brilliant draft. It may free you to work guilt-free (or at least with less guilt than usual).

The Prototype Technique

Review of the draft videos. Recommended for those who would like to consolidate the material in memory before moving on.

Summary of the Draft
8 Lectures 12:54

Overview of the revising module. Recommended, again, for those who like to have an idea of what to expect.

Preview 02:04

Description of the moment when you read your draft and realize it doesn't make very much sense.

"What is this even about?"

Description of a tool you can use to find out what your draft is about, so that you can then shape it during later revisions.

The Editor's Notebook

Description of two situations in which it's hard to delete, even when you know that your work would benefit from it.

"I'm not getting rid of that."

Thoughts on why reflecting on your purpose for writing may help you do the work necessary to create a high-quality final product.

Why am I writing?

A description of the moment at which you may think you're done--but in fact probably have more to do.

"Now I'm done, right?"

A description of how to use the Editor's Notebook to work out what is still missing.

Back to the Editor's Notebook

A recap of the revising module.

Summary of Revising
Review of the Course
2 Lectures 02:01

A thank you, plus a brief overview of the whole course.

Preview 01:57

A list of books and blog posts that Chad has found useful in slowly developing the mindset of an author.

Bonus Material: Further Reading
About the Instructor
Chad Frisk
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5 Students
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Chad is an author living in Seattle, Washington, in the USA. His primary focus is on examining and (ideally) learning from his mistakes. His courses are about mastering the psychology of long, challenging projects. His books include Direct Translation Impossible: Tales from the Land of the Rising Sun, and This is Not a Sutra: A Trial and Error Guide to Meditation for Secular Thinkers.