The 90-Day Memoir is a Live-on-Zoom workshop with Alan Watt that will take you from initial idea to the completion of your memoir's first draft in 90 days.
"What was impossible to accomplish in ten years becomes possible in 90 days."
TELL THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE
The 90-Day Memoir is a concise, day-by-day investigation into a particular series of events that in some way shaped you. We all have the story that we tell ourselves, and although the facts may be indisputable, our interpretation of those facts is often based on long-held beliefs that we have had about ourselves or the world. This means that our idea of our story is never quite the whole story. It isn't incorrect, but only incomplete.
...so, how can you write your memoir if you don’t know the whole story?!
In The 90-Day Memoir you're going to learn to trust your subconscious. Your subconscious is the seat of your genius. Genius isn't a noun, it's a verb - something we all have access to if given a safe environment and a seasoned guide to walk you through the process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of structure.
Your subconscious is able to make connections and uncover meaning in areas that you might not have otherwise explored. The 90-Day Memoir isn't interested in protecting your ego - it's after much larger game - it wants the truth. It understands, on a fundamental level, that when you gain perspective on the events of your life, you're liberated from the limiting beliefs that held you hostage.
Some of the most impactful memoirs depict challenging experiences as a means of tracking their protagonist's journey to some kind of deeper truth by reframing the meaning they made out of their struggle.
This truth is your birthright - and by claiming a coherent narrative for your life, you are always led to freedom, to an absence of shame, and to a deeper connection to yourself and the world.
We meet once a week in a LIVE Zoom call on Thursdays from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Pacific Time, for 14 straight weeks, followed immediately by a live Q&A to answer any questions that emerge.
The workshop is a combination of craft lessons and stream-of-consciousness writing exercises where writers read their work and I work with a number of writers one-on-one to illustrate the principles.
Each Zoom workshop is recorded. You will receive a link to rewatch the workshop as often as you wish for up to three weeks.
Every morning a daily letter lands in your inbox.
The letters were developed over the course of several years, and are a guide through the process of creating a compelling narrative.
Writers often comment on the synchronicity of the letters - on how they seem to meet you right where you are. While the letters focus on craft, they are also a response to the seemingly uncanny uniformity of experience shared by the many writers who have taken the 90-day journey before you.
The group forum is where we meet each day to share our daily experiences and hold ourselves accountable to our daily page count.
Over the course of 90 days we discover that we're not alone - the ups and downs that caused us to question whether or not we were really a writer, are, in fact, par for the course.
It's liberating to realize that our private struggles are universal, and that they often provide direct clues into the world of our characters.
During the first month of the workshop, in the outlining phase, I offer one-on-one story consultations where you can send me your three-page outline and I review it, make notes, and go over it with you in a one-hour consult to explore the most dynamic and compelling way to tell your story before you begin your first draft. There is an additional cost for this service.
"Writing a memoir is a journey inside of yourself, coming to terms with the highs and lows and lessons every life teaches. It is that honest, raw, revelatory account that others will want to read and learn from. Al Watt's 90-Day Memoir is a masterful guided tour to that interior world, structured perfectly. And, amazingly to me, it ends with a mostly completed rough draft in just three months. That’s something many of us have spent years trying to accomplish. The secret is Al’s empathy and teaching methods—asking his students to address the episodes they most want to resist. Few teachers can get their students to really think through the dark night of their soul and how that led to their eventual success and indeed transformation. Al insists he is not a therapist, and this writing course is not therapy. Well, for me, it was full of deep personal revelations, helping me make sense of my life and be able to write about it in ways that had always eluded me. In short, I simply don’t believe you can go wrong with this extraordinary teacher and his writing blueprint."
Bill Buzenberg, Journalist and Former Head of NPR News, Minnesota Public Radio, and The Center for Public Integrity
"I went $64,000 in debt for my MFA in creative writing. After taking this workshop, I wonder why. This is a great class!"
Frank B. Wilderson III, Winner of The American Book Award for his memoir Incognegro
“I already had an MFA and I teach and direct a college creative writing program, but I really didn’t have an organic understanding of story. Al’s ability to merge intuition and structure is unique and invaluable. I was able to work through my outline-phobia because of the way he approached structure as a holistic approach, rather than a rigid box. Al encourages the writer to live within the questions of the story, not the answers.”
Laraine Herring, Author of Gathering Lights, Winner of the Barbara Deming Award for Women
Alan is known as the Writer Whisperer. He's an L.A. Times Bestselling novelist and has won a number of awards for his writing including France’s Prix Printemps (Best Foreign Novel), the American Library Assoc.’s Alex Award, and Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers.
Fourteen 90-min workshops (Thursdays 11am PST)
Live Q & A following each session
Playback access of all workshops
90 daily letters
Daily writing prompts
Group forum to stay connected
One-on-one story consultation
Suggested Donation - $1,000 | Minimum Donation - $500 until August 31st
“This is the best class I’ve ever taken, and I’ve taken many in my time. I went from 'writing a memoir is impossible' to completing my first manuscript. Al has a genius method to unlock your subconscious and get you writing. I've been able to drop all of my fears and get it done, which is remarkable."
“Al Watt is a story guru. Plain and simple. His writing prompts encourage you to dig deep and allow your subconscious to show up on the page. I'm always amazed at what I produce in Al’s class and also how connected to my story he makes me feel. If you are willing to let go of plot, Al will help you find the heartbeat of your story. And then, he’ll drill story structure into your head! I’ve taken a lot of writing classes, but working with Al provided the roadmap to complete my debut novel - the one I’d been thinking about writing for years, and now, finally, the first draft of a memoir, a story I never thought I could tell."
Marcie Maxfield, author of Em’s Awful Good Fortune
“I have two Masters Degrees, one from an Ivy League University, and I must say The 90-Day Memoir is one of the most thought-provoking courses/workshops I have ever taken.”
"Al is the perfect intuitive wizard/ story whisperer to guide one through the first draft of a memoir AKA the dialogue between the writer and the subconscious. He helped me to own my voice, stop seeking outer validation and ultimately trust myself & my story."
“Al's memoir class is part structure journey, part shamanic tracking of self and part healing ceremony.”
Linda Kay Stevens
“Alan is the best writing instructor on the planet. He shines a light and steps out of the way. He honors the creative process and he respects the writer's soul. He is insightful and caring and generous. I feel lucky to have crossed paths with such an inspiring person."
"I had been unsuccessfully trying to tell my story for six years when I registered for Al's class. Not only did I find a way forward, I was able to complete my first draft! I felt safe to share my story with others, to take a risk and be vulnerable. Everyone was very accepting, kind, and caring. It was a wonderful writing experience."
"A friend told me about Alan's online memoir writing course and she spoke so enthusiastically about it that I signed up--not really knowing what to expect. First of all, I must say, Alan makes this substantive course very affordable to everyone. That was a great beginning and says a lot about the kind of person Alan is. I've been a writer all my adult working life in a variety of different professions, but I had never considered writing a memoir. Alan is an exceptional teacher/mentor. I think that is true, first of all, because he knows his subject so well, but beyond that he is an intuitive, compassionate person who allows everyone to feel safe, accepted and "heard." He creates a learning environment that is encouraging and motivating. It has been a transformative experience, not just as a writer, but on a very personal level, and that is because of Alan's ability to work within the complexities of a very diverse group of people and make each and every one feel unconditionally accepted and encouraged throughout the writing process."
"Al Watt’s marvelous courses have helped me in every aspect of writing. When you’re thoroughly confused by plot advice and character how-to’s, drop it all and run fast to lawriterslab.com. From in-person to telecourses, you’ll find something to clear the way to your novel, screenplay, play, memoir . . . whatever is your path, you’ll have a guide.”
Guinotte Wise, Winner of the H. Palmer Hall Award; Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes
There are no prerequisites to join. You will find New York Times bestselling authors writing shoulder to shoulder with first-time writers. I’m teaching a process of getting the story from your imagination to the page. Start where you are.
We offer 100% refund in the first 7 days of the workshop if you need to drop out for any reason. There can be no postponements for future workshops.
Yes, there is homework. Outlining and writing a first draft is a big undertaking. I recommend that you devote two hours a day to the workshop. If you have a busy schedule, that may not be possible, in which case, you may want to temper your expectations, but that should not discourage you from jumping into the class. It is more important that you approach this workshop as a daily or near-daily practice, even if you can only devote a little time each day than it is to cram all of your work in on weekends.
When we commit to this process, the results are often beyond our imagination … we just don’t know what they will be. This workshop is going to guide you through your protagonist’s journey, and you will likely be transformed as a result. The only thing I can promise is that if you show up and put in the time, you will have a first draft in 90 days.
I offer up to two full scholarships each semester for military veterans and for stories of cultural diversity. To apply, please submit a brief bio and a synopsis of up to 300 words describing your story to firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected recipients will be notified 10 days prior to the start of the workshop.
All workshops are recorded and available for up to three weeks, so you can watch them at any time and as often as you wish.
Yes, it probably will. While the objective of the workshop is to complete a first draft in 90 days, the goal of the workshop is to deepen your relationship to your creative spirit, and we cannot do this without creating an environment where each writer feels respected and honored, and where their story is valid. I try to be encouraging, positive, passionate, deep, thoughtful, intuitive, and extremely curious about the story you’re attempting to express. I won’t impose my ideas onto your work, but rather, through inquiry, guide you to the heart of what you’re attempting to express. This process will almost inevitably bring up doubts and fears, but that is an inevitable part of the journey. The workshop will guide you through the emotional ups and downs through the daily letters and support in the group forum and from myself as your instructor.
I offer this workshop twice a year. If you can’t make this one, stay tuned for future dates.
Workshops take place on Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). I’m always on the Zoom call at 10:45 a.m. to welcome writers and answer questions before class. I also do a Q & A immediately following each workshop.
The 90-Day Memoir class size is not limited. In writing your first draft, you do not read your work-in-progress to the class, however, you are encouraged to read your writing exercises so I can work with you one-on-one to illustrate the principles to everyone. Also, while you are encouraged to share your work, it is not required. Once you have completed your first draft, you are invited to take The 90-Day Rewrite workshop, which is limited to four writers and you read your work each week.
If one or more of the following apply, you belong here.
* I’ve always wanted to write a memoir.
* I’ve tried in the past and gotten stuck or blocked.
* I love to write, but I’m scared I’ll do it wrong.
* Someone once told me my writing sucks…but I really want to write.
The story lives within you.
I help you find it.