The course is offered only once a year.
In the meantime, explore my free resources, and join my newsletter to find out when the course will be offered again.
Tap into creative, emotional, spiritual and physical well being…
But most of us don’t have the tools to access our full story or to write with our full voice.
Most writing programs focus only on the limited left brain and on the words on the page.
This online writing workshop for women brings together meditation and optional yoga with powerful lessons and detailed close readings to bring together craft and process.
It guides you to go deeper, quiet the mind, listen to the body and be inspired by other writers and thinkers so you can write your best work.
It’s a space to reclaim your full story, to come out of secrets, to embrace your full experiences and the full emotional and embodied dimensions of your creative vision and voice.
It invites you to join a wonderful community of supportive and inspiring women writers around the world.
And once you join, you have lifelong access so that you can go through the writing course again and again at your own pace and continue to deepen your writing and your relationships in the community.
Find and honor your unique, authentic voice…
How can this be?
This course meets you where you are, wherever that is, so that you can deepen your relationship with yourself and your writing life. And it gives you new tools that most writing schools don’t give us.
It asks us to reconsider many of our implicit assumptions about writing that don’t help us, but actually hold us back and keep us stuck, unable to listen deeply to our voice or story.
This course gives you the tools you need to get through the blocks and frustrations that have been holding you back. It empowers you to step into your fullness and to embrace your full story, whatever genre you’re working in, whether it’s poetry, memoir, fiction, creative nonfiction, or any other form of writing. It reminds you what it’s like to shine.
- Do you feel that you have something important to say but you can’t quite access it?
- Do you wish that writing were not as difficult?
- Do you sometimes wonder, “who do I think I am?” when you sit down to write?
- Do you feel out of joint in your mind and your body?
- Do you worry that if you write your story you will be trapped by its negativity?
- Do you want to jump into your positive memories and experiences, but you aren’t sure how?
- Do you worry what people will think of you if you tell your truth and what the consequences will be?
- Do you feel isolated and alone as a writer and want a supportive community?
- Are you ready to start giving your voice its real power and freedom?
- Are ready to write your best, most original work with your full powers?
CLOSED for enrollment.
You Get Lifetime access to:
8 Live Q&A/Discussion Sessions plus recording
Access to Private Facebook Community
160 mins AUDIO OF LESSONS (plus text)
90+ WRITING EXERCISES and PROMPTS
70 mins MEDITATION VIDEOS to teach you the meditation
120+ mins MEDITATION AUDIO to practice within your home
160 mins CLOSE READING AUDIO (plus text) to learn from inspiring literature
60+ LINKS TO DIVERSE & INSPIRING PIECES OF LITERATURE
80 mins YOGA VIDEOS to teach you the yoga sets
130+ mins YOGA AUDIO to practice within your home
+ 5 Bonuses $200+ value
+ 30 minute one-on-one coaching session with Nadia ($100 value ) for the first 20 people who sign up! (SLOTS NOW FULL)
Align Your Story is the only kind of writing workshop for women that brings together writing, close readings, meditation and optional yoga
It gives you the tools to understand and expand your craft with the left brain and also the tools to, when appropriate, quiet that left brain and let other parts of yourself express themselves.
The meditation quiets the constant chatter and stills the anxiety so that we can listen more deeply to our deeper insights.
The yoga allows us to unlock the messages of our body.
The course allows us to access a fuller range of knowing, emotional well-being, and expression.
It connects in the same practice mind, body and spirit.
It also gives you life-long access to a wonderful community of supportive and inspiring like-minded women writers around the world on the private facebook group and in the live conference calls.
Is there something in your own story that is holding you back? For the past 15 years, I’ve worked with both novice and professional writers who know they have something important within them, but also sometimes find the process frustratingly difficult and feel that something is blocking their full creative power.
We don’t allow ourselves to take ourselves seriously.
And often each of us imagines it’s only us. We think there is something wrong with us. We become slightly ashamed. We think writing must be easier for other people.
Or we buy into the myth that writers and artists are supposed to struggle. We buy into the idea of the “war of art,” that creativity is a struggle, a battle. We think this is just how it is.
This is a problem for all writers. But it’s especially a problem for women, who have been taught for years to contort our natural experience to fit into other people’s ideas of ourselves.
I get it. It’s not surprising that we have these antagonistic experiences with our creativity and our creative voice. After all, we’ve been taught to speak in other people’s voices. Whether it is the parent’s voice, the teacher’s, or the boss’s, usually there are external voices that have been internalized. Those voices might tell us that we’re not good enough. Or they might tell us that we’re “perfect.” But they don’t really see or hear us .
Many of us have rarely been really given the space and freedom and tools to explore the full range of our story and our own voice; to put our mind and bodies together and listen deeply; to make mistakes; to try new things; to play and discover; to get quiet; and also to lovingly push ourselves to expand beyond our comfort range. Often, the fancier our education is, the less of this space we’ve been given.
When we are given this space, we come to see that creativity does not need to be so difficult. And we come to know that the places of resistance, if we listen more closely, are really places of growth.
In fact, with the right tools, your creative process can become a source of great pleasure and exciting insights and you will have the tools you need to write the work you’ve been wanting to write. You’ll learn those tools in this writing workshop for women.
Align Your Story gives you a whole range of tools, from practical tools of craft to embodied practices and writing prompts to help you come to love your writing.
And you might come to find that you recognize yourself when Marianne Williamson says: “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
When you align your story, you can come to love your own unique woman’s story, and to share your full story and creative voice with others.
I can lead you through this process because I’ve also lived it myself.
– Martha Graham
WHO IS IT FOR?
for fiction writers and memoir writers, poets and business writers.
It is for professionals, stay at home moms, retirees and anyone interested in self expression and growth.
This women’s writing workshop is designed for interested beginners and experienced meditation and yoga practitioners .
It meets you where you are.
Be guided by the course to create all new work.
Or bring a writing project you’re already working on to the course and get new inspiration and tools for it.
Whether you have a lot of time to devote to the class or just a little, the course can fit your schedule.
You have lifetime access and can go at your own pace.
And you can choose which aspects of the course to focus on.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Align Your Story is comprised of eight modules. Each module contains a lesson, close readings of great literature, yoga, meditation, writing exercises, a live optional video conference call, and access to a private facebook group.
Unlike other writing groups, the focus of this course is not on constantly getting critique or on being expected to read and critique your peers’ writing. Instead the focus on this course is to learn to listen to yourself, practice new techniques and skills, access different parts of yourself in the writing process, go deep and become your own best witness, reader and editor.
While there is opportunity to share your work, and many students do, that is optional, so that you have the ability to be as honest and exploratory on the page as you want. If you choose, you can even take the course as a self-guided retreat.
The next of round of the online writing workshop for women starts September 14 and unfolds over 12 weeks, but you can go through at your own pace, if you prefer, and once you enroll, you have access to the material, the private facebook community, and the conference calls for life.
Module 1 : FREE WRITING : Learn how to set up a sustainable writing practice, get past your inner critic, embrace your writing practice, Connect Mind and Body, & More--SIGN UP NOW AND GET STARTED THIS SUMMER!
We will look closely are a wide variety of voices exploring a wide variety of contents to give you more freedom in your own range of expression includes Mindful Exercises and Unlocking the Spine in YogaStudied Texts: Rumi, W.H.Auden, Ann Lamott, Natalie Golberg
Module 2 : DEEP LISTENING : Learn how to listen deeply with the mind and body, Come into greater awareness and write from that attentive space, & more
Module 3 : RESISTANCE, SHAME AND JUDGMENT : Learn how to find practical tools to get out of the blocks that so often stop our writing and get in the way of living; learn to approach resistance as an opportunity for growth and for better, not harder, writing (& living)
Module 4 : CHILDHOOD : Learn how to write from the richness of childhood without getting trapped in it; bring the aliveness, physicality and wisdom of childhood experiences to whatever genre you're working in
Module 5 : JOY : Learn how to make your writing (and your life) come alive by accessing joy in the body and putting it on the page so that your writing has a greater range of emotion and experience.
Meditation, chanting and yoga to open your throat chakra
Studied texts include: Ross Gay and Walt Whitman
Module 6 : REVISION and RE-VISION : Learn how to re-imagine revision so that it makes your writing process more free, rich and vibrant. Come to love the revision process and make it as creative as the writing process itself
In this module, you will experiment with revising, rewriting, re-seeing. Try on different hats: play, experiment, align. We won’t stress perfection, but will be open, curious, and diligent.
Meditation and yin yoga
Studied texts: Ann Lamott, Elizabeth Bishop
Module 7 : THE ART OF THE STORY LINE : Learn how to put the different pieces of your story or any story all together! Explore different techniques and possibilities and have the tools to decide which is right for which piece.
How do you tell your story? Where do you start? What is significant? What do you put in and what do you keep out? What tone do you take?
In this module, we’ll put together the pieces in a variety of different ways and come into alignment
Meditation and yoga flow
Studied Texts: short stories and personal essays
Module 8 : WRITING FOR LIFE : Learn how to keep going for the long term and write what you love and love the writing process itself.
So how do you keep going? In this final module, you will have the tools to keep your writing practice going for as long as you like–perhaps your whole life.
Full of inspiration and encouragement, in this module you’ll fall in love–if you haven’t already–with your own writing.
Meditation and heart opening yoga
Studied texts: Hafiz, Rumi, etc.
The Align Your Story Writing Workshop for Women
EACH MODULE COMES WITH THESE SEVEN COMPONENTS
Weekly (optional) conference calls/video sessions to ask questions, engage in discussion, get personalized coaching, and practice together are offered once per module. This is a great way to connect more with the community of women writers around the world. If you can’t make them live, you can email questions in advance. Everyone will get a recording. Once you enroll, each time I offer the course, you are invited to these live sessions. Some people prefer to take the course as a writing retreat and not participate in the calls. If that’s you, don’t worry, all the course material is housed online and you can access it all without coming on the calls.
There is an ongoing (optional) facebook group of engaged, supportive, inspiring women writers around the world. We have students in Israel, England, South Korea, China, Canada, California, Texas, Ohio, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Maine and many other places. Share work, ask questions, get support, offer feedback, be inspired. The facebook group is a great way to connect, and many students have made lasting in-person friendships from this group. Some students prefer not to be on facebook. If that’s you, don’t worry! Everything on facebook is optional. All the course material is housed online on a website.
I offer Align Your Story only once a year. If you enroll with the early bird discount, you’ll get access to the first, robust module this summer to work with on our own.
Starting September 17th, I’ll be releasing the course module by module over 12 weeks (every other week will be a catch-up week).
Because you have lifetime access to the course, you can go at your own pace and don’t need to worry about “falling behind.”
The lessons and close readings come in audio format, so you can enjoy them while you go for a walk, do the dishes, drive, etc.
Most students spend 2-4 hours per week on the course. But some spend less and some spend much more, if they want to go deep into their own writing and practice.
The course offers guidance about how to work with the materials based on your interest (do you want to focus on yoga or skip the yoga, for example) and schedule.
You can use the course to write all new work or to go deeper with a writing project you’re already working on.
And once you enroll, you have lifetime access, so you can come back to the material whenever you want and can participate in the conference calls each year when I offer them.
Hi, I’m Nadia Colburn, and I’m the founder and creator of Align Your Story.
I believe that your voice and your story matter. I’m passionate about helping women share their unique stories and their creativity with the world.
I was always a good student. I got straight A’s, went to Harvard and then to Columbia where I got a PhD in English. I was rewarded for my good writing. But the truth is, I didn’t really know my own voice or my own story. And while I looked “good” on paper, I wasn’t really expressing myself fully. My goodness was its own kind of trap.
I needed not just to express my story, but also to understand and heal the places that were wounded. I needed to learn how to be my own best witness. To do this, I stepped away from a successful academic life to do the hard inner work of healing and growing and of showing up for myself—and also for my children.
I didn’t want to just have things to teach from my mind. I wanted to learn how to live as myself with all my complexities in our complicated world. I needed to learn how to put the different sides of me together, the mind and the body and the heart and the spirit; they all felt fragmented.
There wasn’t a model for me to do this: my creative writing community focused only on what was on the page; my healing and yoga and spiritual communities focused on the inner work, but didn’t have a way to integrate that work with outer expression or with coming back into the public world. I needed to create my own method.
It was a long and bumpy path. In addition to my training as a an award winning creative writer and PhD in English who has been a literature professor at lead schools like MIT, and a creative writing workshop leader, I also got trained as a yoga teacher and became a serious student of Thich Nhat Hanh and have experience in ten day silent vipassana retreats and am trained as a kundalini yoga teacher.
When I integrated these different modalities for myself, amazing things began to happen. I found that I could write from my center, with more ease and more power. Because I knew better who I was, I could access my own authority and write about my authentic experiences as a woman.
I came to come to love my own difficult, twisty, painful, wonderful, joyful, unique story. I came to write about what it means to me to be a woman with a body, a woman who was once a girl and is now a mother, a citizen, a survivor, a lover, a thinker, an animal. In the process, not only did I feel less anxious, but also, many of the health problems that I had had for years also cleared up! I began to bring these methods to my students. I’ve now taught thousands of students and have seen the exciting transformations that this process brings to them.
I’m the author of the poetry book The High Shelf and my poetry and prose have been published in more than 80 publications, including The New Yorker, Spirituality & Health, American Poetry Review, LA Review of Books, Tiny Buddha, Lion’s Roar, Truthout and many other places. My essay “The Language of Silence: Listening to the Body” is published in The Anatomy of Silence: 26 stories about all the sh*t that gets in the way of talking about sexual violence.” I’m a founding editor at Anchor Magazine: where spirituality and social justice meet, and have taught workshops in a wide variety of places including Copper Beach Institute, The Muse and the Marketplace, The MA Poetry Festival, The Harvard Divinity School and many other places.
Each writer has a different story, but the unique method that I created first for myself and now share with others helps can help you access your true creativity and authentic voice–and authority. Your voice matters; your experiences; your story, and your creative vision matter. I want to help you realize them fully. This is powerful, transformative work that regenerates us not only individually but also collectively. It is the change we need and the change the world needs.
See more about the course in the video below:
A video from Erin Mitchell and her husband Stephen Mitchell about Erin’s experience in Align Your Story.
Concerned you don’t have time to participate fully in the writing course?
Don’t worry: once you enroll you have lifetime access so can go at your own pace and come back through the course as many times as you want.
PLUS YOU GET:
5 PROGRAM BONUSES ($200+value)
CHECKLIST TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY AND LOVE YOUR WRITING
Do you ever sit down and find that, whatever you do, you can’t get out of the way of your nasty inner critic, even after meditation? This check-list, available only as a bonus to Align Your Story, will give you some powerful tools to shift those voices.
AFFIRMING THE POWER OF YOUR VOICE:
MEDITATION RECORDING FOR WOMEN
This audio meditation and writing prompt is designed especially for women to empower you to access your inner feminine power and bring it out.
GUIDED MEDITATION RECORDING TO DO AFTER YOUR WRITING SESSION
This bonus recording is like a savassana for writers. Finish your writing session with a calming, integrating wind-down meditation.
We’re more successful at asking the inner critic to get out of the way if we have a plan to do when she comes back during revision and editing time. This revision sheet will give you the tools you need to make sure you’re doing your most successful editing.
FINISH YOUR PIECE MANUAL
This guide will give you the steps you need to put the finishing touches on your piece so that you can move on to the next!
I offer ALIGN YOUR STORY only once a year, but once you enroll you get lifetime access.
Sign up for my newsletter to find when the course is offered again,
Frequently Asked Questions About Align Your Story
Got questions about Align Your Story?
I go over the most common questions below.
And if for some reason you still have a question that went unanswered,
feel free to contact our support team at [email protected]
Below are some of the most common questions I hear:
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AN ONLINE COURSE INSTEAD OF AN IN PERSON COURSE?
In this course, you get more material than you would get in almost any class of similar length. You get not only writing instruction, but also meditation and yoga instruction.
You can take your time with the course and keep the materials for life, going deeper and deeper into them with time.
You can go through the course at your own leisure and on your own time-table.
Students benefit from repeating the material in this course many times.
Like an in person class, this online course also offers a community of supportive, dedicated writers.
This course also offers one-on-one coaching with Nadia.
ISN'T THE POINT OF A WRITING CLASS TO GET FEEDBACK ON MY WRITING?
There are many points to writing classes. And while one of the benefits of a writing course is that you get feedback from other people, that is only one benefit of a writing course–and sometimes that benefit has its shadow side.
In this course you will learn to write without constantly worrying about feedback and judgement.
You will be encouraged to really experiment and explore the limits of your writing and understanding and voice.
You will unlock your creativity and authenticity.
You will become a better reader.
You will connect mind, body and spirit.
And you will learn to give yourself feedback.
You will learn to become your own best witness in the safety of a supportive group.
That said, I do value feedback on writing, and sometimes people really want it. That is why I also offer one-on-one coaching. Contact me for more information about how we can work together with Align Your Story.
I'M A PUBLISHED WRITER; IS THIS CLASS FOR ME?
I find that writers are often the people who most need this class–we need to get out of our heads and reconnect and re-integrate our hearts and souls. We need to reconnect with our authentic purpose as a writer–not just for others, but for ourselves.
Often the most experienced writers have forgotten that it’s okay to be vulnerable in their writing. But the vulnerability hasn’t gone away–this is a place to explore that vulnerability with grace, compassion, wisdom, and humor. And ultimately to allow that vulnerability to become your greatest strength.
I'M JUST A NOVICE WRITER; IS THIS CLASS FOR ME?
And once you have written explicitly about your childhood, you might be surprised what happens next: some people want to dig in deeper. And they have the tools to do that. And some people are surprised by how much new energy they have to explore other directions and let their imagination free.
I DON'T WANT TO DO YOGA OR MEDITATION. MAYBE THIS COURSE ISN'T FOR ME.
But you might surprise yourself and try–and just see what happens….the yoga and meditation will deepen your writing practice, and your experience of yourself, your body, your mind and the world!
I DON'T WANT TO WRITE ABOUT MY CHILDHOOD AND SOME OF THE OTHER TOPICS OF THE MODULES. I ALREADY KNOW WHAT I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT
That said, even when we are writing about a completely made up bank robbery, some part of us is writing from our childhood self. So take the time to really dive in and explore writing from your childhood. Again, you might surprise yourself by what you write–you might find yourself writing about things you didn’t remember you remembered or writing in a tone that surprises you utterly.
And once you have written explicitly about your childhood, you might be surprised what happens next: some people want to dig in deeper. And they have the tools to do that. And some people are surprised by how much new energy they have to explore other directions and let their imagination free to get to the next level with all of the projects they are working on!
I'VE DONE JULIA CAMERON'S ARTISTS WAY AND MORNING PAGES. IS YOUR COURSE SIMILAR?
So that said, here are some of the ways our work is similar:
Like Cameron’s work, my course gives you tools and encouragement to tap into and stick with and value your creative self. Like Cameron’s work, my course helps you move through blocks, and like Cameron’s work, my course also has a spiritual dimension.
And here are some of the ways my course is different:
First of all my specific method and insights are different from Cameron’s.
You get to have live check-ins with me and a community of supportive writers, with whom you can have a life-long connection. And for a limited time, participants also receive a free fifty-minute one-on-one session with me.
Third, my course is released module by module, so that you can chart your own progress, and really develop a writing practice over time.
Fourth, while the Artists Way focuses mainly on writing exercises, my course also develops deep reading skills. I believe that good writing comes from good reading. And I also believe that good reading awakens and fuels our creative selves. Included with each module is suggested reading of great published texts and close readings of those texts, that help you understand both content and technique.
Fifth, my course also offers a true mind-body-spirit integration and includes yoga and meditation along with the writing exercises and close readings.
I'M ALREADY WORKING ON A LONG PROJECT IS THIS COURSE FOR ME? WILL THE COURSE HELP ME CONTINUE TO WORK ON A PROJECT I'VE ALREADY STARTED?
I THINK OF MYSELF AS PRIMARILY INTERESTED IN YOGA AND MEDITATION BUT NOT IN WRITING. IS THIS COURSE FOR ME?
I'M PRIMARILY A POET AND NOT PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN NARRATIVE OR STORY
WHAT FORM OF MEDITATION DO YOU USE?
WHY DO YOU BRING KUNDALINI YOGA INTO THE COURSE?
HOW LONG DO I NEED TO DEVOTE TO THE COURSE EACH WEEK?
WHAT IF I'M NOT ON FACEBOOK AND AM NOT TECH SAVVY?
No need to be on Facebook to participate in the course. All the material is housed on a website, and all the facebook conversations are completely optional. The course is very low tech. All you need is a basic computer to access the website–and much of the course material can be done off-screen! I want to create a rich experience that doesn’t depend on being on a screen for hours.
WHAT IF I WANT TO TAKE THE COURSE AS A SELF-GUIDED RETREAT?
Taking the course as a self-guided retreat is a beautiful way to interact with the material. While the community of women in this course is a strong and vibrant one, the main focus of the course is listening to yourself, which you may feel you can do better on your own. Many students have chosen not to interact with the facebook group and the conference calls. Do what’s right for you. And if another year you want to interact with the course differently, you can do that, too.
COMMIT TO YOUR CREATIVITY AND ALIGNMENT TODAY
I was unprepared for what happened during my first reading in the group. I felt this familiar welling up inside that I knew would lead to the one thing I tried to avoid at all cost – crying in front of others. I couldn’t get my words out because my voice was trembling so uncontrollably. I had a choice – quit and hide, as I normally would do or allow what was happening to happen. I chose to give my voice an opportunity for healing. The encouragement and level of acceptance I felt from Nadia and the group allowed me to move past the embarrassment and deal with this unresolved trauma around being seen and heard. My authentic voice had been buried under all of this fear and was ready to come alive and Align Your Story was an opportunity to come out of hiding. The course gifted me the opportunity to heal what was in the way of my own inner sense of knowing my own emotional voice.
Nadia and our group showed me the value of group support and how to follow what really needs my attention without needing to force a direction. The course taught me to mindfully step back and be still and just allow what needs to happen to happen, and this is a lesson I will forever cherish and take with me throughout my life. Nadia’s high level of emotional and spiritual maturity has prepared her to provide that light and supportive wisdom we most need to interrupt our fears of becoming.
I am truly grateful for Nadia and the AYS group!
Unlike so many online writing courses, the primary focus of Align Your Story is not on getting immediate critique and feedback from the teacher or peers, a practice which keeps people stuck in immediate judgment and criticism mode.
Instead, this class asks you to go deep inside and to learn to listen to yourself and to become your own best witness within a community of support.
Students in this class take risks, grow, explore, discover, go farther.
In Align Your Story, students develop their own inner-ear, their own ability to be with and edit their work, and their own unique voice in which they can have confidence. And they come back to the material again and again for different iterations.
It’s exciting to see the breakthroughs students have! I’d love to see you in the course.
Take a Tour Inside the Course
to See How It All Works
Your Story and Your Voice Matter!
Align Your Story gives you the tools and support to unlock the full power of your creative vision
Learn more in the video below
THE 30-DAY “Align Your Story”
100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE
Here’s how it works:
When you sign up for a course like this, you’re making an investment in yourself. I’m here to support you. If you do the work for the first three modules of the course (and can show me that you’ve done some of the work) and if you aren’t satisfied for any reason, I’ll refund your money (for classic plan members I’ll refund 100%; premium members get the remainder of the price back minus the one on one sessions they’ve already had with me).
I don’t offer a money back guarantee if you sign up but don’t have time to do the course work. Once you enroll, you have lifetime access, so if you can’t start right away, you can come engage with the material and community later.
When you sign up you are making a commitment to yourself that you’ll invest at least some time and energy into your own life as a writer, and I want to help you make that commitment to yourself. Just try the material.