Author | Photos Usamah Khan

Starting To Write: Shedoesthecity’s Writing Workshop at The Gladstone Hotel

Update: This workshop is now full. We will likely run again in February. Stay tuned!

On New Year’s Eve in 2007, my then boyfriend and I hosted a small party that quickly unravelled into a gross drug den in our unfinished basement. I don’t remember much about that night, but I do recall standing outside in the cold, smoking a cigarette and telling a couple friends that I had a plan: I was going to quit my job at CBC Television that spring and start a blog.

At that moment, inebriated, shivering, probably slurring, and hacking a butt on the stoop, I didn’t know exactly what this blog would look like, but the idea filled me with excitement. I wanted it to be like NOW Magazine, but for twenty-something women like me.

I wasn’t a writer – I hadn’t gone to school for that – and beyond my article about a crazy OCAD art party in 2002 where students got naked in a giant vat of wine and busted down walls with a parking meter, I had never been published. So like, how was I going to do this?

“You’ll have to write every single day,” was advice I heard from a few people at that time. It seemed daunting, and maybe as likely to happen as my commitment to the gym, or my continually failed efforts to quit smoking and drinking, but like all resolutions and dreams, you have to start somewhere.

It took a few months to get going, but once it began, it didn’t stop. It started with one email to a friend: a simple story about a bike ride I took. A kind friend, she agreed to receive my ramblings daily, to help me stay accountable to my goal. Then I added another friend, and another. I started calling these daily emails “The Scribble,” and they’d chronicle anything from an interaction witnessed on the TTC to conversations overheard at a bar. The email list steadily grew to about five hundred individuals before I launched the blog.

Since then, Shedoesthecity has published over fifteen thousand stories and received over fourteen MILLION unique readers.

Funnily enough, I still don’t feel confident calling myself a writer, and I always defer to “branding person” or “marketing expert,” but writing is clearly what I do. (Note to self: Work on your self-confidence in 2017.) So when our contributor Erin Rodgers suggested that Shedoesthecity host a writing workshop, it made me feel a bit nervous: WHO AM I TO LEAD A WORKSHOP ON WRITING? But Erin is a seasoned pro at leading workshops, and of course, it makes so much sense: Shedoesthecity has always been a publication that works with new writers, so we’re focusing this workshop on how to start writing.

Relaxed, fun, easy, and inspiring is what we’re going for. Care to join us?

Jump to the Facebook event page to see exactly what we intend to cover in this two-hour cozy candlelit shindig, which is sure to warm you on a cold winter’s night.

Wednesday, January 11th 7-9pm
The Gladstone Ballroom
Admission is $15 (tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite)

startingtowrite

4 Comments

  1. Trish Wild
    December 21, 2016

    Sounds interesting! Wish I could! I was told by my nurse practitioner that I should write a book on my sudden illness, ostomy journey & recovery. I used my humor to get through it. I had my depressed days but who wouldn’t.

  2. malyeis
    December 25, 2016

    I’m in shock that some one can make $4929 in 1 month…

    you can also visit…..www.jobideas4.com

  3. January 7, 2017

    This is such a great idea! Can’t wait to sign up in February.

  4. January 7, 2017

    Humor is a great way to share a story so you’re lucky to have that gift 🙂 If you’re looking for some inspiration for writing about an illness, I recently read “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cahalan: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13547180-brain-on-fire

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